San Antonio Wagner (33-5) was the heavy favorite going into Thursday's UIL 5A state semifinal against Sulphur Springs (29-9), and it showed in a 62-52 win at San Antonio's Alamodome.
It started with Wagner's fast start, which resulted in a 19-6 lead in the opening quarter. The Thunderbirds rode that wave to a lead in 31 minutes and 45 seconds of the game's 32.
"It was really fast because that set the tone of the game," said VYPE Player of the Game Journee Phillips.
Sulphur Springs made runs, so the game was never a blowout. But, the closest it got to tying the game after the opening few minutes was a 19-16 deficit in the second quarter. That's because Phillips led a trio of Wagner double-digit scorers with his 19 points and seven rebounds.
"We just came out, ready to play," said Phillips. "We wanted to get them out of the comfort zone."
Along with Phillips, Wagner also got strong performances from Jalen Jackson and Ja'Sean Jackson, who finished with 18 and 12 respectively.
Sulphur Springs also stayed around because Keaston Willis finished with a game-high 23 points and Sadaidriene Hall added 20.
Wagner will now play Mansfield Timberview in Saturday's UIL 5A state championship game, like it did in its 70-68 win on December 29th. The Thunderbirds are also familiar with the season's final game, as evident by their 63-57 loss to Cypress Falls in the 2016-2017 title game.
"We just have to keep doing what we do," Wagner coach Rodney Clark said in response to the rematch.
For more sports coverage, follow Thomas (@Texan8thGen) and VYPE (@VypeSATX) on Twitter.
To follow your favorite teams, and for more scores, stories and everything Texas High School Sports, download the VYPE Media App on iTunes and Android today!
Looking to get more involved? Check out ShopVYPE for fresh gear that supports local schools and the VYPE U Ambassador Program. To sign up for the VYPE U Program, apply at VYPEU.com.