San Antonio Cole outlasts Palacios for area win
Feb. 24, 2018 at 2:39 a.m.
Updated Feb. 24, 2018 at 2:43 a.m.
Chase Ford didn't want his Palacios career to come to an end.
But if it did, he was determined to to go out with a flourish.
Ford scored 22 points and converted six 3-pointers, but it wasn't enough to stop San Antonio Cole from taking a 78-71 Class 3A area playoff win on Friday night at the VISD Event Center.
"All good things come to an end," Ford said. "That's a good team, and I hope they do well. They beat us tonight."
The Cougars improved to 34-2 and advanced to the area round against Van Vleck, a 92-73 winner over Blanco on Friday night.
But the Sharks (24-9) didn't make it easy for Cole, which has been ranked as high as No. 3 in the state.
Palacios led until late in the second quarter and rallied in the fourth quarter to keep the game competitive.
"One phrase was 'empty the tank,'" said Palacios coach Trent Weixelman. "I think we did. I think we left out all our on the court, and that's been our M.O. all year. We don't pass any eye tests. When we walk on the court, we don't scare anybody. When we play, we do. We earned their respect, and I think we did. We play hard and that's us."
The Cougars took the lead for good on a 3-pointer by Josh Butler, who scored 20 points, with 55 seconds left in the second quarter.
Cole then opened the third quarter with a 14-3 surge to turn the game in its favor.
"We felt like those guys made a good run on us, especially at the start of the game," said Cole coach Noe Cantu, who coached at Victoria West last season. "I think we preached in the second half about really attacking the rim. We knew they were in a man defense. Our strong point is getting to the rim, and I think we did a really good job in the third quarter."
Cole is playing without two starters, who were suspended after a regular-season brawl with Karnes City, and lost another to an injury at the start of the game.
But Xavier Epps scored 19 points and Jacquez Harris had 18 to lead the Cougars.
"We just kind of focused on what was in front of us," Cantu said. "If you dwell on the past and look behind you, it will tear away your future. We focused on going forward and keeping our dream alive."
The Cougars scored four points to open the fourth quarter and took a 60-40 led.
But the Sharks fought back behind Ford, who made four of his 3-pointers in the final quarter, and got as close as five points.
"I started shooting and got hot and just kept on doing that," Ford said. "I tried to bring my team back. We're a hard-working team. That's just how we play."
"He's been shooter since Day 1," Weixelman added. "My three seniors started for me from the end of their freshmen year and I trust them to make good decisions and he normally does."
Camron Polk led Palacios with 24 points. But the Sharks had only two other players score.
"We ran out of juice," Weixelman said. "I rode those horses into the ground all year and I wasn't going to change what we do just because of the moment. But they're great at what they do. I thought we prepared well, but we ran into a good team."
Class 3A Area
San Antonio Cole 78, Palacios 71
Points: (Palacios) Johnny Gatica 9, Zach Seaman 16, Chase Ford 22, Camron Polk 24. (Cole) Tye Wilson 5, Josh Butler 20, Tevin Roberson 14, Micah Hatch 2, Jacquez Harris 18, Xavier Epps 19.
Halftime: Cole 33-30. 3-pointers: Ford 6, Polk 2, Seaman, Roberson 4, Harris 2, Butler, Wilson. Records: Palacios 24-9; Cole 34-2.