The Marshall talented trio of John Walker III, Jabari Rice and Tajzmel Sherman had already figured out a solution for putting the disappointment of a 74-66 loss to Mansfield Timberview in the Class 5A state championship game behind them prior to the start of post-game interviews.
“We’re going to enjoy the spring break,” Rice said.
Timberview coach Duane Gregory called it a return to old school basketball. The Wolves were 0-for-7 from beyond the three-point arc while feasting on Marshall turnovers that led to high percentage field goals on the other end.
“I told the guys at halftime that we have to defend and run and defend and run,” Gregory said. “If we do that over and over again the game is going to turn fast and their not going to know what hit them.”
Trailing 37-27 to begin the second half, Timberview (32-7) executed a 19-2 third-quarter run to seize control of the game. The Wolves outscored Marshall 28-5 in the first 10 minutes of the second half and led by as many as 13 points (64-51) in the fourth quarter.
Chris Mullins scored a game-high 36 points and was named the championship game’s MVP.
Rice led Marshall (32-8) with 20 points. Sherman added 17 points and nine rebounds while Walker finished with 12 points and seven boards.
“We were hoping to answer their run with a run of our own but it never came,” said Marshall coach Gary Nichols. “We have to give them credit. They (Timberview) are a good team.”
Brazosport and Silsbee were two other good teams that met in the Class 4A state title game. Silsbee was making a return visit to the championship game after succumbing to Dallas Lincoln a year ago.
The 33-4 Exporters led 39-36 at halftime but three players had three personal fouls.
Silsbee (33-6) attacked with ferocity in the third quarter and outscored Brazosport 33-19 in the frame.
Despite a game-high 35 points from Chris Rossow the Exporters fell 89-83 to the first-time state champs. It marked Silsbee’s seventh trip to the state tournament.
Silsbee head coach Joe Sigler notched his first state title in more than 40 years of coaching. Sophomore Jordyn Adams was named title game MVP with 26 points and nine rebounds.
“All the seniors got together and decided we would get coach Sigler his first state championship,” said Silsbee guard Trajan Harris. “We knew how much it would mean to him and that’s what we did.”