Basketball: Texans return to San Antonio – Northwest to face Alamo Heights in state semifinal

By Reece Waddell | Published Wednesday, March 7, 2018
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The Northwest Texans are going back to San Antonio.

After edging Amarillo 60-56 in the regional final last weekend, Northwest punched its ticket to the state tournament for the second consecutive season.

The Texans will take on Alamo Heights in the 5A semifinal at 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the Alamodome.

Northwest has not lost a game since December, and is on a 17-game winning streak. The Texans finished district play undefeated.

Despite its run of recent success, Northwest knows the dangers at state. The Texans fell to Fort Bend Marshall 82-59 in last year’s semifinal. They have no intention of letting that happen again.

“I think everybody is of the mindset we’re going down there for business,” said Northwest coach Mike Hatch. “It’s great getting all the accolades for getting to go down there, but the reality is you have to perform. We have an opportunity about 250 other 5A schools don’t have – and that’s win a state championship.

“It’s right there for us. We’re going to be in any game that we play in. And if we perform, and do things the way we’re supposed to, I think we’ll have a good chance to win.”

Alamo Heights is coming off a dominant performance in its regional final, romping Laredo Nixon 70-33. The Mules enter the game with a 32-6 record. At the start of the playoffs, they were ranked No. 23 in 5A. Northwest was second.

Hatch said although Alamo Heights played mainly man defense in the regular season, the Mules have gone to a 2-3 zone for most of the playoffs.

“I think it has to do with them playing against better athletes,” Hatch said. “I think as teams have become more athletic, they’ve relied a little bit more on their 2-3 zone. Almost all of our district teams played zone. Our guys are used to it. I think they’ll adjust pretty quickly to whatever way Alamo Heights wants to play us.”

Offensively, Hatch said it remains to be seen how much production they will get out of senior guard Jordan Keys. Keys has been dealing with a nagging ankle sprain since the regular season finale against Brewer. Keys was Northwest’s second-leading scorer during the regular season.

Although Keys played in the regional final, Hatch said he was sore in practice on Monday.

If the Texans beat Alamo Heights on Thursday, they will play the winner of Port Arthur Memorial and Midlothian in the 5A championship at 3 p.m. Saturday.

“I think we feel good about ourselves,” Hatch said. “I think we played well over the weekend. I don’t think [we’re] afraid of nobody, and I think we’ll be ready to go come Thursday.”


Northwest vs. Alamo Heights
8:30 p.m. Thursday
Alamodome, San Antonio

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