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Pirates scuttle Panthers, 54-51
Mesquite Poteet grabs 4th-place playoff berth with win at Forney
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

FORNEY–The third meeting of the Mabank Panthers and the Mesquite Poteet Pirates in Forney Friday was like the first two – right down to the wire.
With the District 15-4A fourth-place playoff berth on the line, the Panthers missed a couple of shots and the Pirates hit their free throws in the final minute to cement a 54-51 victory.
Both Mabank and Poteet tied at 5-7 in district play.
With Friday’s loss, Mabank finishes its season at 16-12, while Poteet improved to 15-14 and was to face the District 16-4A winner in the first round of the playoffs.
“I think we had a good year, not a great year,” veteran Mabank basketball coach Mark Allen said Tuesday.
In a district where five of the six other schools boasted enrollments nearly double that of Mabank, the Panthers were able to compete for a 4A playoff position, which is a lot better than most folks outside Mabank expected.
“A lot of people didn’t expect us to do a whole lot, except us,” Allen said. “We wanted to get into the state playoffs, and get a win.
“We were in every ballgame, across the board,” he added, “but we were looking for a little bit more.”
Mabank fans far outnumbered Poteet fans inside Forney’s main fieldhouse, but the Pirates used their quickness to block the Panthers off the boards, taking a 14-12 lead in the first quarter.
The Panthers were only getting one shot per possession against the Pirates’ 1-3-1 zone defense, while the Pirates were getting two or three opportunities on each possession, and that really began to take a toll in the second quarter.
Poteet outscored Mabank 14-10 in the second quarter to take a six-point halftime lead, 28-22.
The Pirates expanded their lead to 10 points at 37-27 with 4:30 left in the third quarter, but the Panthers were able to hang close when Trevor Peele hit a couple of free throws to pull within five, 39-34, at the end of the third quarter.
Jacob Woodard got the Panthers off to a good start by hitting a 3-point basket on the first Mabank possession of the fourth quarter, cutting the margin to two points, 39-37.
The Pirates again pulled away behind a trey from center Corrence Harris, but Panther senior Kolton Browning also hit a trey to keep the Panthers close at 44-40.
Harris picked up his fourth foul and had to take a seat with 5:07 left to play, and Browning nailed two free throws to pull the Panthers back within six at 48-42.
Browning then showed why he’s a candidate for the district MVP, hitting a bucket to cut the Pirate lead to four, taking a charge on the defensive end, then notching an assist on a lob to Tyler Fisher, pulling the Panthers within two at 48-46.
Fisher got a tip-in on the next Panther possession, tying the score at 48 with 1:30 to play.
Both teams fumbled on their ensuing possessions, but Pirate Eddie Andesodun was fouled on his next drive to the basket.
Andesodun hit both free throws to give Poteet a 50-48 lead with 43.4 seconds left.
The Panthers misfired on their subsequent possession, and Allen used his last time out with 26.3 seconds to play.
Mabank fouled Poteet’s Derek Winkley, who converted both free throws to put the Pirates up by four at 52-48 with 23.8 left to play.
Mabank again missed a scoring opportunity, sending Andesodun back to the line.
Andesodun converted both free throws to put the Pirates up by seven with 14.8 seconds left, and Peele hit a trey at the buzzer to cut the final margin to four points.
Browning led all scorers with 22 points, including two treys, while Griffin Marshall finished with nine points.
Fisher scored eight points, while Peele finished with five, Woodard with three and both Mickey Pycha and Unterrious Toliver both scored two points each.
Andesodun led the Pirates with 19 points, while Winkley finished with 13 and Harris finished with 10 points.
“We’ve got a good core group coming back,” Allen said. “Our numbers are coming up – we have a lot of freshman kids, and numbers coming out of the eighth grade. We’ll have some experienced juniors coming back as seniors.
“Our seniors did a good job with their leadership and work ethic,” Allen added. “They came to practice and worked hard every day, win or lose the night before.”
Allen said he was able to play 10 or 11 deep during the Pirate game, and every player contributed.
“Those guys came off the bench and gave us that extra spark,” he said.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Mabank fans cheer during the frenzied final minute of Friday’s district playoff battle.


Upcoming games


Feb. 26
EHS Bulldog Relays


Feb. 27
MHS g/b @/vs Chapel Hill*
EHS g/b @ Whitehouse*

March 6

March 10
MHS g/b @/vs Lindale*
EHS g/b vs Athens*
*district contest


Feb. 26-29
MHS @ Marion tourn.
KHS @ Chapel Hill tourn.
EHS hosts tournament

March 3
KHS @ Kaufman
EHS @ Kerens

March 5-7
MHS @ Grand Saline tourn.
KHS @ Mildred tourn.
EHS @ G.Prairie tourn.

March 10
MHS vs Kaufman
KHS @ Chapel Hill
EHS vs Ferris



Feb. 26-28
MHS @ Kerens tourn.
KHS @ Kerens tourn.

March 3
MHS @ Hillsboro
EHS @ Kerens

March 2
MHS g @ Forney tourn.

March 9
MHS b @ Canton tourn.
MHS g @ Royse City tourn.
KHS @ Canton tourn.


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