Your password needs to be at least 8 characters and one number.
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:
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.
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.
McKinney Lions basketball pose with Regional trophy after defeating Arlington Martin (3/5/22).
For the first time in nearly a century, the McKinney Lions are headed to the state tournament. On Saturday, McKinney posted a 58-36 victory over Arlington Martin to advance to the state tournament. VYPE DFW was there to catch all the action!
A story 94 years in the making- McKinney has a boys basketball team headed to the UIL State Tournament in San Antonio, Texas. The first half of the game saw what most expected to see- a close race to the finish as both teams went head-to-head for their chance to pull ahead. Martin jumped out to an early lead and continued to force McKinney to keep up with their pace through the first half of play. Toward the end of the first half, McKinney found their footing and went on a 10-point run. As the teams headed into halftime, the Lions were down by only one score (25-23).
"At halftime we talked about forcing kills," said McKinney head Coach Wes Watson in an interview after the game. "We wanted to put as many points up without them being able to score. They could get the ball, but we didn't want them to score." Headed into the second half, the Lions took Watson's message to heart and forced kill after kill in order to shut down Martin. With strong defensive playing backing their offense, the Lions were set to finish strong.
Senior Alex Anamekwe led the team in scoring with 20 points while senior Thatcher McClure (10) and junior Ja'Kobe Walter (15) also scored double digits to help secure the victory for McKinney. The Lions are set to face-off against Austin Westlake at 7 p.m. on Friday in the State Semifinals.
Highlight video filmed by Ibifiri Jamabo.