Meadow had some high and low points in their gone-too-soon hoops season, and unfortunately some of the higher ones were towering right over them Tuesday night.
The Broncos were no match in size for the Sands Mustangs, and the scoreboard in Roosevelt’s Eagle Gym showed with a 58-72 bi-district loss that canceled any hopes of continuing their tradition of long playoff runs.
Led by 6’7 junior Caleb Thomasson, the sixth-in-state, likely-Austin-bound Mustangs sprinted straight for their basket after tip-off and didn’t seem to stop scoring. By the end of the first quarter, the Broncos were left with one of their biggest deficits in recent memory, at 6-27.
The boys in purple and gold weren’t ready to say sayonara to their season that quickly, though. Thanks mostly to senior Christian Herrera’s shooting skills from behind the three-point line, they managed to narrow their disadvantage down to eight at one point in the third quarter and about 12 through most of the rest of the match. They were down 27-41 and 43-53 after the second and third quarters, respectively.
"We just got off to such a bad start and got ourselves in a hole,” said head Coach Kyle Johnson. "The last three quarters I thought we played as good as (the Mustangs) did, and maybe as good as we did all season.”
Scorers included Herrera 3-6 5-7 29, Mason Davila 5-0 3-4 13, Brandon Flores 4-0 2-2 10, Trey Herrera 1-0 2 and Zach England 1-0 2. The Broncos landed 10 of 13 free-throw attempts for 77, while the Mustangs sank 11 of 15 for 73 percent.
Johnson added that he was sad to lose seniors Herrera, Zach England, Alan Estrada and Ralph Urias, and generally disappointed with the hindrances that had kept them from being able to raise a trophy this season.
"This whole year we couldn’t get anything consistent going,” he said. "These seniors had to deal with a lot of adversity, and we just never got in a rhythm all season.”
There’s always next season, though - and a roster full of enthusiastic young Broncos already eager to hit the court.
"We do have some young talent that I’m pretty excited about,” Johnson said.