McKinney Christian Academy wins first-ever boys hoops state crown in Double OT
WEST, TEXAS - When James Wheeler took the TAPPS State Championship medal and draped it around son Jalen's neck he pulled the senior in close. He put his forehead against his.
The father-son were State Champions.
“He said this is an honor to present you with this medal,” Jalen said. “Whenever I gave him his medal, I said the same thing and we hugged it out. Super emotional.”
It was James, Jalen and younger brother Noah all celebrating on the court inside West High School on Saturday evening after a thrilling 56-51 double overtime victory over TMI Episcopal to secure the TAPPS 5A State Championship.
“We’re State Champions,” James said. “I was telling the guys my senior year in high school my basketball team won state. That was 29 years ago. Don’t mean to date myself. But I showed them my ring and they went crazy. It is starting to set it. I’m lost for words.”
It is the first-ever boys basketball state championship in McKinney Christian Academy history.
“It’s super special to be a part of the group that did it," Jalen said.
VYPE Postgame: @MCAstampede head basketball coach James Wheeler stops by to talk about the state title for the Mustangs. #TAPPSState @JalenWheeler10 @CoachJamesMCA @Bobby_McWard @JoshThrower3 @ZekLong @SportsDayHS pic.twitter.com/pxfNa2MEcy
— VYPE DFW (@VYPEDFW) March 6, 2022
Throughout the game it was a battle, especially down the stretch. After being tied after regulation (43-43) and the first overtime (48-48), it came down to crucial plays by Jaylen Johnson.
With a 52-51 lead in hand, Johnson got a crucial defensive rebound and fed the ball up to Bobby McWard, who went coast-to-coast for the layup, making it 54-51. Then, it was Johnson hitting a pair of free throws to seal the eventual 56-51 victory.
“Resiliency,” James said of the double overtime victory. “We never quit; we never gave up on the gameplan. We made a few adjustments trying to space them out. As a coach, how do you prepare for overtime, you really don’t. So, what we needed to do was to truly stay with the gameplan. It shows resiliency.”
In the end, after being presented their trophy and banner and taking photos. The team started yelling "Yeah .. Yeah" in unison with the crowd. It was McWard, who then took the trophy and ran towards the bench, jumped onto a chair and hoisted the trophy to the crowd.
A "Championship Culture" was complete at McKinney Christian with medals to prove it.
“These guys came together to form a championship culture,” James said. “That’s what we wanted to create. A championship is just a byproduct of creating a championship culture.”