(Columbus) - The Seguin boys basketball program's first trip to the second round of the UIL playoffs since 2005 ended in disappointment Friday evening, as Angleton scored the game's final six points to hand the Matadors a 61-53 loss in the 5A area bracket at Columbus High School.
Seguin fought back from a 24-13 deficit in the second quarter to pull within four, 28-24, at halftime, and tied the contest on multiple occasions in the third period before entering the fourth in a 44-41 hole.
The Matadors answered each of the Wildcats' runs in the final frame to stay within striking distance, and only trailed by two, 55-53, with two minutes to play.
Seguin went cold offensively and couldn't coax another shot to fall from that point. Angleton forward Malik Louison scored a pair of transition buckets during the Wildcats' final 6-0 run, including a breakaway dunk that virtually sealed the outcome.
The most glaring statistical difference was at the free throw line. Angleton's shooters drained their first 17 attempts from the stripe and finished 21-26, while the Matadors only made 11 of 24.
"They're big, they're physical inside, and they let us play for the most part, but you know, hats off to Angleton," Seguin head coach Dwayne Gerlich said. "They knocked down some shots, and they knocked down 21 of 26 free throws, and that's awesome in a playoff game."
Tyler Fricke and Cedric Ward scored 15 points apiece to lead the Matadors offensively. Fricke hit four threes and produced his highest point total in seven weeks.
"He came in real focused, and he had a great two days of practice," Gerlich said of his senior shooting guard. "He has been sick in district, and he's finally gotten over it, and he came in and he didn't want to lose tonight. He hit some big shots for us and kind of helped us out there and opened things up on the inside for us. You know, they all did - whoever was in the game, they did their role, did everything that was asked of them. We played against a very athletic team, and sometimes they out-athleticised us getting to the basket, and that was just tough."
Louison, a 6'3' forward, did enough damage on drives to the hoop to earn 11 free throw attempts (he made 10) and finish 16 points. Angleton's 6'5" center Salomon Smith matched that total and dueled Ward to a draw in the low post.
Jay Sayles added 10 points for Seguin, Mark Garcia eight, Christian Marinez three, and Xavier Bateman two.
Friday was the final varsity basketball game in the careers of 11 Seguin seniors, including the team's top five scorers - Ward, Fricke, Sayles, Bateman, and Garcia. Gerlich calls them a special group, and credits them for raising the program's bar of expectations.
"I'm so proud of these kids and everything they accomplished this year," the coach said. "There was a 12-year playoff drought that we knocked off, winning a playoff game, and getting back in the playoffs and getting second in a district that's really tough. You can't take nothing away from them, and hopefully the community was proud with what happened. We've got a lot of things to build on, and hopefull we broke a little curse on the playoffs here, and we'll go back to work, but I really appreciate all these seniors."
After finishing second in District 26-5A and advancing through the bi-district round of the 5A Region IV playoffs, Seguin's final season record is 17-14.