Bulldogs headed for Region IV tournament
Teresa Ging/THE THORNDALE CHAMPION
Sam Reaves floats to the basket for two against Harper on Feb. 28. The Bulldogs, runners up in District 25-2A will face 29-2A second place San Antonio Lee Academy at 6 p.m. Friday at New Braunfels Canyon High School. Lee defeated Woodsboro in overtime on Tuesday night to reach the fourth round of the playoffs.
By MARIE BAKKEN
The No. 25 Thorndale Bulldogs (25-9) are headed back to the Class 2A Region IV tournament after defeating Harper (24-9) on Tuesday night 52-33 in regional quarterfinal action in Marble Falls.
The Bulldogs, runners up in District 25-2A will face 29-2A second place San Antonio Lee Academy at 6 p.m. Friday at New Braunfels Canyon High School. Lee defeated Woodsboro in overtime on Tuesday night to reach the fourth round of the playoffs
The other regional semifinal will see Thorndale’s 25-2A foe and league champion No. 3 Mumford (36-2) play 30-2A winner No. 6 Port Aransas (32-3) at 8 p.m. The Region IV championship game will be played at 2 p.m. Saturday for a trip to the state UIL tournament March 10-11.
This is the third straight trip to the regional tourney for the Bulldogs. They were regional finalist in 2015 and regional champs in 2016. The 2015 appearance was the first since Thorndale’s 2007 and 2008 state title runs.
Against Harper, the Bulldog jumped out to a 14-11 lead after the first. The second half saw the Bulldogs struggle with turnovers. Harper went on an 8-0 run to take a 21-20 lead with 2:42 left in the opening half.
Thorndale’s defensive pressure was key in the closing seconds of the second quarter and managed to regain a 24-23 lead at the break.
The Bulldogs came out on fire in the third quarter, outscoring Harper 21-8. That was mainly behind the three-point shooting of Sam Reaves. Eleven of his game-high 28 points came in that frame, nine of them from behind the arc.
Thorndale outscored Harper 7-2 in the final quarter, with the Longhorns not scoring their lone basket until there were 30 seconds left in the game.
Ty Prince put up 10 points for Thorndale, with Ashton Albert adding seven, Scott Guzman four and Logan Fisher three.
Carson McKnight led Harper with 13 points on the night.
Thorndale took down Flatonia 66-56, winner of District 28-2A, on Friday in the area round game held in Giddings.
The game was tight in the first quarter, with the Bulldogs holding on to a 19-16 lead. Thorndale was able to extend that a little by halftime, going to the locker room with a 34-26 advantage.
Flatonia came out in the third and outscored Thorndale 21-18, but the Bulldogs held on to a 52-47 lead heading to the final quarter. It was there that Thorndale outscored Flatonia 14-9 to claim the win.
Four Thorndale players scored in double figures. Reaves, Prince and Logan Fisher all put up 14 points on the night, with Albert adding 13. Mason Fisher added eight points and Ruben Briones scored three.