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No. 7 Summer Creek Bulldogs
Since the arrival of coach Kenneth Coleman three years ago, the Summer Creek basketball program has been steadily growing. In his first year, the Bulldogs reached the Regional Quarters, then the Regional Semis in 2020 and the Regional Finals last year.
They fell to district-mate Atascocita for the right to go to State.
"Every year we are trying to be State Champions," Coleman said. "We continue to move forward every year."
Can they make that next step?
The strength is their guard play with a trio of second-teamers Jaleen Goodman, Jaylon Johnson and North Shore-transfer Julian Roman, who make up the "best backcourt in Texas".
Gone are Amaree Abrams and Jakeel Registe to other schools, but watch out for Kyle Morgan and Cameron Patterson, who will play much bigger roles.
"I hope people are sleeping on us this year," Coleman said. "But I don't think they are. We have built a great schedule also to test us early."
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No. 8 Pearland Dawson Eagles
Coach Mark Barre has built tremendous consistency at Dawson over the years. Last season, he helped lead the Eagles to the Regional Semis where they lost a heartbreaker 55-54 to Atascocita.
Dawson and Shadow Creek shared the District 23-6A title going 13-1 and splitting their district matchups. Not much will change this year as the Eagles and Sharks will battle for supremacy.
One of the most overlooked players in Houston is 6-foot-7, two-time, first-teamer Hayden Windsor. He can shoot the lights out and is explosive in space. Windsor can put people on posters.
Jaden Miller is a true point guard and should be even better as a junior. Tyree Davis was an honorable-mention selection at guard and watch for Larry Lyons, who will pick up some slack by the departed seniors.