Yates extends 100-point streak to 12; Wise weighs in; photo gallery
HOUSTON - Jack Yates basketball … You either love them or hate them. There is no middle ground.
Wednesday night at Butler Fieldhouse, Yates was in a heated battle.
Not with Furr High School, but with the clock.
Yates had scored 100 or more points in 11-straight games. The national record is 15 games, set by none other than… Yates in 2010.
Coach Greg Wise is polarizing. His "pedal to the metal"-style catches criticism at times, but it's his signature. It's the best ticket in town. If you haven't seen it, it's a must.
He presses the entire game. His team shoots fearlessly and he plays a deep bench. He and his players want another state title, but they also want the record of 100-point games straight.
But, here's the catch.
In HISD basketball games if a team is up by 50 or more points, the referees employ a running clock – a mercy rule. There is no such rule sanctioned by the UIL.
"The UIL rule says you can't run the clock," Wise said. "HISD put their own rule in for whatever reason. To be honest with you, I'm frustrated with our own district because the UIL says you can't run the clock. They (HISD) put in their rule to run it and then they tried to run it when we were in a time out. I've got an HISD person arguing with me about their own rule. Sometimes you feel like people that are supposed to be on your side are not even on your side, so it's frustrating."
Yates was up 78-28 at the end of the third quarter as the clock had begun to run on fouls, free-throws and balls out-of-bounds. Furr tried to run some clock with hopes of not being victim No. 12.
As the clock continued to run, Yates had one chance to score 100 at the end of regulation. Latrell Moore hit a right-corner-pocket-three-pointer that rattled home as the bench and crowd went wild.
A 100-31 final made for No. 12.
"That's what we are chasing right now," senior Rubin Jones said. "Of course, we want the state ring, but we want that record right now."
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In a battle against a running clock, it will be tough for Jack Yates to break their own record of 15-straight 100-point games. If they do, it will be against Scarborough on February 11. It might not get that far as rival Wheatley looms on the schedule February 7.
Think about this, Yates has to score at least 25 points per quarter. High school basketball has eight-minute quarters. Eight-minute quarters! If they are up by 50, the clock is running. That seems virtually impossible, however, they were battling a running clock last week in the second quarter.
Why is this so important to them? Yates pours it on in blow-out wins as their relentless press and pace wears out opponents. Some may feel it's unsportsmanlike.
Well, I have mixed feelings. When you play for Yates basketball, like Katy or North Shore football, you are playing against your opponent but also your own legacy. The Yates 2010 team was the greatest Lion team ever. They set the standard.
The 2020 version is trying to be called the "best ever" and raise the bar. To do so, they have to break the record… and win state. That's the Yates' culture.
Here's the scary part. Yates is just getting to full strength as home-schoolers Chuks Isitua and Allen Udemadu were made eligible a few weeks back. They join guards Jones, Antwon Norman, Darryl Brown and Elijah Elliott, among others to fill out a lethal lineup. The last addition could be transfer Gerald Doakes, who has several SEC offers. Doakes should know if he's cleared by next week.
"Some teams are the best they can be at the beginning and some plateau or go down, but this team with the way we are going are going to do nothing but get better as the season goes on," Wise said. "That's another reason why we need that time, but this team hasn't even gotten close to how good they can be."
For now, the controversy will continue as fans will argue both sides.
But one thing is for sure, Yates ain't changing. And nor should they.