Antonian wins TAPPS 6A Championship to Cap Off Dominating Season
For many of the UIL and TAPPS teams that were crowned Champions over the past week, winning it all was extra special after the past year, especially when considering the numerous obstacles presented by COVID-19.
For Antonian, it also meant overcoming their loss in last year's Championship game to John Paul II. A loss that came as the sports world shut down in response to COVID-19.
"With all the struggles with COVID and coming short last year, I think it was really sweet to get back to the state championship and win it this time," Point Guard Xavier Martinez said Wednesday. "We all worked so hard individually and as a team knowing it was our last season together and we wanted to finish it the right way."
Antonian did just that, and in dominating fashion, beating opponent Bishop Lynch 73-57. After a slow start in the first half, Swingman Bryon Armstrong emphasized their game plan as a key to victory. "Our game plan was to slow #2 (Imo Essien) down from scoring and to do what we do which is run."
For Senior Point Guard Gavino Ramos it was a chance to leave Antonian a champion. "My mindset was to leave it all out on the floor. This was the last game I would play in an Antonian uniform and wanted to make sure I did whatever I could to make sure we came out with a state championship."
This victory was not something that came as a surprise to any in the Apache locker room. With an impressive 31-1 record, their lone loss to 6A State Runner-up Westlake, it is easy to see why. Armstrong and Ramos attributed this to the special connection the team had both on and off the court as well as the ability for any player to step up on any given night.
As for if we will see Antonian next year Martinez, a junior, said "people are going to see the same Antonian style basketball they always do, we are going to apply pressure, share the ball, and score a lot of points. Hopefully, we can pull off an amazing season and another State Championship!"
Do not be shocked to see them back in the state title game next season.