SEMIFINALS PREVIEW: McKinney Lions Hoops heads to State Tournament
For the first time in 94 years, the McKinney basketball is headed to the UIL basketball state tournament. With a strong victory over Arlington Martin last week, the Lions are focused and ready to get rolling into San Antonio. VYPE DFW takes a look at McKinney's road to state and what fans can expect:
Season In Review
McKinney High finished at the top of their district after posting a 10-2 district record with victories over the likes of Allen, McKinney Boyd, Little Elm, Denton Guyer, and more. With the outstanding ability to continue to post strong scores against their opponents, the Lions have been able to outscore their opponents this season by over 700 points. The team has also showed extremely strong resiliency when it comes to defense. They continue to hold off their opponents when it matters most in order to advance week-by-week.
In playoffs, McKinney has defeated Coppell, South Grand Prairie, Richardson, North Crowley, and most recently Arlington Martin. Their closest game in playoffs came against nationally ranked Richardson when McKinney's Alex Anamekwe scored a game-winning basket with just over a second to spare in the upset heard 'round the metroplex.
The Lions (34-5) will face-off against Austin Westlake (38-1) in the UIL Class 6A State Semifinal game. Although the Lions have faced some of the toughest teams in the state already, Austin Westlake might prove to be a challenge. Westlake is on a 37 game win-streak headed into the state tournament and is known for playing a level of defense that is nearly unmatched.
What To Expect:
McKinney plays tough and McKinney is resilient. If there is anything they have proved this season it's that they have the ability to regroup between each game and prepare for the next... especially in do-or-die situations. The team has been able to come into some of the most difficult moments and shock everyone- there should be no difference at the state semifinals matchup. Led by four-star Ja'Kobe Walter- who has averaged 24 points a game- as well as Anamekwe, Jackson Steel, and Thatcher McClure, the Lions can be expected to play hard and pull out a few secrets on the court on Friday.
The game is set to tip-off on Friday, March 11 at 7 p.m. in San Antonio.