BEHIND THE LENS: South Houston knocks out Sam Rayburn
By Andy Tolbert
The 2019-2020 UIL boys basketball postseason begins tonight and there are interesting San Antonio area storylines going into it. Check out five things to know.
No. 1: Wagner Wants To Add Another Chapter To Four-Year Run
San Antonio Wagner has enjoyed incredible athletic success since the start of the 2016-2017 school year, and a lot of it is credited to its boys basketball program. That's because that group of Thunderbirds advanced to the 2017 UIL 6A state championship game, 2019 UIL 5A state title game and 2018 UIL 6A Region IV quarterfinal, and also has a 128-21 record during the past four basketball seasons. The expectation is there, so it's time to make more history in the 2020 UIL 5A postseason.
No. 2: Military Bases Know How To Ball
It shouldn't be a surprise that Military City, USA has three school districts on bases, but their great basketball traditions could be unexpected to outsiders. Most Texas high school sports fans remember when Shaquille O'Neal led San Antonio Cole to a UIL 3A state title during the 1988-1989 season, but don't overlook the recent success at Fort Sam Houston ISD, Lackland ISD and Randolph Field ISD. That includes San Antonio Cole's run to the 2019 UIL 3A state semifinal and Randolph's march to the 2015 UIL 3A state championship game. That trend can continue in the 2020 postseason because San Antonio Cole and Randolph are ranked in the state's UIL 3A top 10, and San Antonio Stacey enters the 2A dance with a 23-9 record.
No. 3: Fredericksburg Keeps Adding To Basketball Resume
When you trek from San Antonio to the Hill Country, don't be surprised when you find a strong boys basketball program in Fredericksburg. In the nine seasons prior to the current campaign, the Battlin' Billies recorded nine straight 20-win seasons and advanced to eight regional quarterfinals. They followed that with a 32-1 regular season during the 2019-2020 campaign and a state ranking before the 2020 UIL 4A postseason, so there are multiple reasons to keep an eye on the boys from the hills.
No. 4: Brandeis & Judson Are Ready For Playoff Challenges
The north side of the San Antonio area has two state-ranked UIL 6A teams, and for good reason. The first is 28-3 San Antonio Brandeis, who had to battle a competitive district slate to finish first in UIL 28-6A. The other is 26-9 Converse Judson, who enters the UIL 6A postseason on a 15-game win streak. The teams are on opposite sides of the Region IV bracket, so we can all hope for a regional championship meeting in a week and a half.
No. 5: By Now, You Know Harlan
San Antonio Harlan has enjoyed vast success in only two varsity athletic years, and its boys basketball team has been one of its frontrunners. Prior to the 2020 UIL 5A postseason, the Hawks already own a bi-district playoff win from the 2018-2019 campaign, and have added a pair of 22-win seasons and 28-5A district titles. They plan to make the most of their final UIL 5A playoff appearance before they make the jump to the state's highest classification for the next two school years.
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The beginning of the 2020 softball season began last week as the regular season commenced.
It's a time of hope. It's a time for new beginnings. It's a time of optimism.
Dekaney High School softball is playing for all three. The Wildcats welcomed new coach Charlene Bradley a year ago and qualified for the postseason. They fell in the first round, but they were in the Dance.
They have high expectations this season with hopes of challenging for the District 16-5A title. They 'Cats, however, were dealt a tough blow as their coach announced to the captains that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and her treatments would take her out for much of the season.
She's the heartbeat of the team. She has the "juice". Bradley brings big energy and treats her girls like they are her own. She can make light on her situation on the outside, but she's putting on a brave face as her battle for her life begins now.
I had the opportunity to stop by the north Houston campus and chat with the popular coach.
It's time to tip off the 2020 boys' basketball playoffs.
Here are VYPE's fearless predictions for some of the first-round games.
Klein Forest reached the state finals a year ago, while North Shore reached the state semis out of Region III.
Yates reached the State Semis in Class 4A a year ago.
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