Elks down Spartans, claim 9-5A title
With the chance to kill two birds with one stone, Burleson’s boys basketball team didn’t let the opportunity get away.
The Elks started fast Friday night at arch-rival Centennial and didn’t leave the Spartans much breathing room as they finished off a sweep of the series this season with a 62-50 District 9-5A victory.
The win, coupled with Arlington Seguin’s victory over Cleburne, gave the Elks (21-6, 10-1) first district title in at least 50 years. Research is still going on the determine the last tme Burleson won a boys district title. The Elks have won their last three meetings with Centennial. The loss was the Spartans (13-13, 5-6) fourth straight in district play.
“I’m really proud of my guys because they work through adversity,” Burleson coach Joey Martin said. “I’m so hard on them about being perfect on everything and for three-fourths of the game, I thought they played to perfection. I really enjoyed that our kids were able to play in a tough environment like this. They executed our game plan tonight. I thought they played great defense. They were unselfish. If we do that, we have a chance to win a lot more games.”
Burleson overwhelmed the Spartans in the first quarter, getting out to an 11-0 lead behind eight of senior Jaylen Johnson’s game-high 27 points.
“We had intensity tonight and it felt really great,” Johnson said. “I felt we needed to jump out and get a big lead so that we can play comfortable at the end. It feels good to beat them twice in a season because there is a big rivalry between the two schools. We got them in football and now we got them in basketball so we have something to keep our heads up about.”
The Elks led 34-26 at halftime and Centennial was able to close to within 24-28 on an Anthony Hunter basket to open the second half. That was as close as the Spartans would get as Burleson went on a 10-2 run to expand its lead to 44-31.
“Coach Carroll does a good job with his kids,” Joey Martin said of Centennial coach Jeff Carroll. “He’s got a young group of kids that are talented.”
Hunter, who finished with a game-high 18 points, scored eight fourth-quarter points during a 17-13 final quarter run by the Spartans. Zach Bolf tallied 12 points for the Spartans and Corbin Franco added nine points.
Sam Martin, who scored 12 points, was the only other Elk scoring in double figures. Dalton Lane finished with nine points.
Burleson 62, Centennial 50
Burleson 21 13 15 13 - 62
Centennial 11 15 7 17 - 50
Burleson (21-6,10-1):: Jaylen Johnson 27, Sam Martin 12, Dalton Lane 9, Josiah Sneed 5, C.J. Anderson 4, Raymond Lynch 4, Levi Porter 2.
Centennial (13-13, 5-6): Anthony Hunter 18, Zach Bolf 12, Corbin Franco 9, K.J. Walker 5, Caleb Werner 3, Zane Elliott 2, Josh Brown 1.