By Quinn Murray, TSB Contributor
In a down-to-the-wire 4A first-round playoff thriller, McKinney High’s boys basketball team held on 53-51 against Frisco Centennial on Tuesday night.
With 19 seconds left in the ballgame at Prosper High School, Centennial guard Bryant Rucker hit a clutch, game-tying three that culminated a huge rally. But the fatigued Lions wouldn’t settle for overtime.
As the clock wound down, Red Shannon drove downcourt and lobbed the ball to forward Raynell Denny, who then nailed a buzzer-beater from 10 feet out, sealing a second round playoff birth for McKinney High.
The crowd went wild.
“That last shot was huge,” MHS coach Wes Watson said. “We weren’t gonna call a timeout at the end and allow [Centennial] to set some defense up. We wanted our guys to play. We trusted them. Red made a great pass to Ray, and Ray made a heck of a shot with a hand in his face. Sweet baby, Ray.”
AJ Moutry led McKinney scorers with 19, and Shannon added 14. Denny scored eight.
The Lions (20-11) advanced to the Area Round, where they will take on Dallas South Oak Cliff (27-7) this Saturday, Feb. 25 at 1 p.m. at American Airlines Center. South Oak Cliff won its opening game Tuesday, 90-81, over Dallas Adams.
The Lions’ Tuesday opener appeared that it would be a convincing win, at least early. Thanks to a ferocious first quarter defensive effort by Shannon, the Lions rattled the Titans’ offensive composure, allowing just 10 points throughout the quarter. Conversely, the Titans were unable to match the Lion defensive force. With 11 first quarter points, Moutry led the MHS up-tempo offensive assault, making his first three field goals. The momentum was totally in favor of the Lions by quarter’s end, as reflected by the 25-10 score.
Come second quarter, Centennial seemed aggravated, and were again beat physically by the Lion defense. However, Moutry’s once-ignited offense had begun to cool. At the half, MHS led 35-21.
To keep their season alive, the Titans conducted a potent second half comeback. MHS’ once flawless match up zone-press defense had finally been exposed by the Titan offense, who put up 14 points in the third. Making matters worse, McKinney simply couldn’t hit shots, tallying a mere eight points all quarter. By the third quarters end, the score was 43-35, and it set up Centennial’s final late push.
And Denny’s late heroics.
Photos by TSB contributor Shelby Tauber
Editor’s Note: Don’t miss the link to an MHS-Centennial video below, from ManestreamNews.com.