Sherman eliminated with loss to McKinney North
A late winning streak gave the Bearcats a chance to make the playoffs, but there ended up being too many obstacles to overcome down the stretch.
And even with a victory in the 10-5A finale, Sherman was guaranteed nothing. But the Cats had to take one step at a time.
It was how they put together four straight wins in the second half of the district schedule and the same approach was needed to get through second-place McKinney North.
And while Sherman was able to hang tough in the first half, the Bulldogs broke the game open in the third quarter on the way to a 58-41 victory at Bearcat Gymnasium.
Kasai Burton scored 14 points, all in the first half, Elijah Chapman added 11 points, Vontrelle Sanders totaled eight points and Jalarien Wilson chipped in six points and nine rebounds for Sherman (12-13, 6-8), which finished fifth in the district standings for the second straight season.
The Bearcats had to win and needed The Colony to lose in order to force a play-in game for the fourth and final playoff berth. The Colony ended up beating third-place Rock Hill, 50-48, so the Cats’ outcome didn’t end up making a difference.
“I want these kids to see their goals reached and I want to help them reach their goals,” Sherman head coach Jordan Marks said. “We weren’t able to make that happen. I think we had our chances; we played well in a lot of games. When you have a chance to capitalize on the opportunity, you have to do it.”
Dylan Frazier had 16 points and 11 rebounds, Jamien Hopkins added 13 points, C.J. Wilson scored all 12 of his points in the third quarter and Aidan Partee chipped in eight points for McKinney North (21-4, 12-2), which ended as the district runner-up behind Lovejoy.
Sherman was down by two heading into the third quarter and that’s when McKinney North took control.
Chapman did hit a three-pointer from the right corner to get the deficit to one and Sanders made a jumper for a 30-28 margin with just over six minutes to go in the frame.
The Bulldogs then had an 8-0 spurt with three pointers from Wilson and Partee.
“We made adjustments on their high-low offense and in making those adjustments, we gave up threes and they knocked down a couple in a row,” Marks said.
Wilson powered the offense for North in the eight-minute segment, including a layin in the closing seconds for a 45-31 lead.
Sherman managed just a bucket and free throw from Chapman after the Bearcats had pulled within two and the Bulldogs took advantage to widen the gap.
Wilson and Chapman had two quick buckets in the fourth to make it a 12-point margin but that was as close as Sherman got the rest of the way.
The first half made it seem like the Bearcats were going to put a scare in North until the end.
Hopkins had nine points in the first quarter to lead the way for North but Burton matched him, including buckets within seconds of each other after he stole the ball under the hoop for a 9-7 lead in the middle of the frame.
Hopkins answered before Burton hit a three-pointer and then added a floater in the final minute to give Sherman a 14-11 lead at the end of the quarter.
North had a quick start to the second quarter and in this stanza relied on Frazier in the paint. He had nine points in that stretch, including a pair of three-point plays.
The last came with 5.6 seconds remaining in the half but there was plenty of time for Burton to hit a turnaround three-pointer from the right wing at the buzzer and get the Bearcats to within 25-23 at the break.
“The three was big by Kasai and I thought it would give the momentum we needed,” Marks said.
McKinney North 58