By Chris Bils [email protected]
8:28 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018
PFLUGERVILLE–For the second year in a row, the District 13-6A championship came down to Hendrickson and Pflugerville playing head-to-head in the final game of the regular season.
On Tuesday, the Hawks got the revenge they had been waiting for with a title-clinching 66-61 win over their crosstown rival at Hendrickson High School.
“I knew we had the same chance to do this on their court last year, and they kind of snatched it from us,” said Hendrickson junior forward Isaac Bullard. “I wanted to take this one for our coach, because I know it hurt him a lot, and I wanted to get it for a lot of our players.”
The Hawks (20-14, 9-3) led from the second quarter on as they cranked the pace to build a 14-point halftime lead.
The quarter began with a 7-0 run spurred and continued with a pair of 3-pointers by junior Dylan Disu, who finished with 13 points and 5 rebounds while fighting foul trouble.
With Disu out for much of the second half, Bullard and freshman Jaden Williams took on much of the scoring load. Bullard scored seven of his 19 points in the third quarter and had multiple rim-rattling dunks.
Williams also scored 19 points while taking on an important defensive role. He split time face-guarding Pflugerville senior Caleb Asberry, who scored 26 points when the Panthers (18-15, 7-5) won the first meeting on Jan. 19.
Overton Jefferson and Christian Walker also spent time harassing Asberry, who went scoreless in the first half and scored 14 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter.
“We just tried to make his teammates beat us,” Williams said. “Last time (in Pflugerville’s win earlier in the season), he had almost 30 points. He’s a great player, but we just had to shut him down this game.”
Joel Huggins was left to carry the scoring load for Pflugerville. He finished with 20 points despite fouling out with 4 minutes, 22 seconds left.
The Panthers rallied late, briefly cutting the deficit to 61-55 with a minute left, but the Hawks made their free throws to put the district title on ice.
The championship marked a milestone achievement for third-year Hendrickson coach Dustin White, whose team will enter the playoffs having won five of its last six games. The Hawks’ last district title came in the 2010-11 school year, when they competed as a Class 4A team.
“It feels great,” he said. “We felt like we had a good team, but we had some down moments where we came back and we knew what we were supposed to do. We told the guys all season that it’s a grind. Their ability to finish the ball game and take care of business, I’m really proud of them.”
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