The 2019 UIL Playoffs have heated up quickly as only 14 DFW programs are still in pursuit of the dream every school had when the season started, a Texas state championship.
In the 3A Division Madison is holding the DFW down as they prepare to face off against Tatum HS at Prosper on Friday night. The Trojans have been led by Jerome Rogers Jr., Jody Legans and Dominique Robinson in their quest for a UIL 3A State Men's Basketball Championship.
In the 4A Division upstart Faith Family will square off with Texarkana Pleasant Grove. Faith Family has been led by senior PG Rakim Gary and freshman phenom Trae Clayton along with a host of others.
Life School Waxahachie is also representing Dallas in 4A as they face a daunting task with the matchup vs. #2 4A Silsbee on Friday night.
Wilmer Hutchins looks like the team to beat in 4A in Dallas led by seniors Jakevan Leftridge and Davian Sanders. Hutch is the #1 team in the state and have shown no signs of slowing down. If Faith Family and Hutch take care of business Friday night they will face each other on Saturday for a trip to San Antonio.
In 5A we have Lancaster, Mansfield Timberview, Frisco Lonestar, Justin Northwest and Highland Park all still chasing a state championship title.
Highland Park may be the surprise of the group after taking down Kimball last week. They are led by sharp shooting senior Riley Seebold who leads the area in three point shooting. 2020 5 Star football recruit Prince Dorbah has also given the Scotts some big time production inside this season. They will need Dorbah to play big as Sulphur Springs will have one of the biggest and best front courts in the state with Cameron Kahn, Xavier Cork and Sadadriene Hall.
Justin Northwest is looking to get back to San Antonio for a third consecutive year. They are led by seniors Avery Anderson and Sam Freeman. They have also received big contributions from juniors Julien Smith and Jaylen Peterson. They will play Amarillo Palo Duro Friday night and could possibly face Mansfield Timberview for a chance to get back to San Antonio on Saturday.
Mansfield Timberview is looking to win a second state title in three years. This group is led by a veteran group of seniors who were all on the team that won state 2 years ago. Trazarien White, CJ Smith, Rod Soares and Tristen Starks. Coach Gregory is recognized as one of the best coaches in Texas as well. They will face Lubbock Monterey on Friday night and possibly tangle with Justin Northwest Saturday.
Lancaster has been the #1 team in the state in 5A for about 2 months now. They haven't lost a game since December. The Tigers have been led by arguably the best backcourt in the state Mike Miles Jr. and Wade Taylor IV. These two have been tremendous all year. Unheralded seniors Devon Miller and Jalen Roberts have been phenomenal all year for the Tigers as well. They will face Frisco Lonestar Friday night.
Frisco Lonestar had gone under the radar for much of the regular season because they played the early portion of their schedule without 2 starters. Marvin Mims and Julian Larry were both trying to lead Lonestar to a football state championship. They are both back and in complete basketball shape to go along with Northern Arizona signee Isaiah Lewis. The matchup with Lancaster Friday night looks to be a good one.
6A is loaded with ELITE individual talent as well as a Cinderella. I'll get started with Cinderella.
Euless Trinity has quietly put together the best season in their school's history. With Trinity alum Myles Turner watching they took out the heavily favored North Crowley team. They were led by dynamic senior guard Adrian Nunley who has been lights out for the Trojans this year. They will need him and a few others to take out the #1 6A team in the state Duncanville Panthers Friday night.
Duncanville has been on a tear since Christmas winning the Whataburger Tournament Championship. They have been led by two top 50 players in the country in 2019 Texas Tech signee Jahmius Ramsey and 2020 Micah Peavy. The contributions don't stop there with players like JB Hill, Derek Luna and Damon Nichols Jr. also playing well for the Panthers. Their star power along with their depth make them a tough out. If the Panthers win Friday night they could face Denton Guyer on Saturday.
Denton Guyer was the #12 ranked team in the country at one point this season. They are stacked with the likes of Oklahoma signee Devion Harmon, Michigan signee Jalen Wilson, JaKobe Coles and Tyler McGhie. Each of these players are capable of scoring 25 plus on any given night. Guyer looks to get to San Antonio for the first time with this group. They will face Odessa Permian on Friday night and a possible matchup with Duncanville on Saturday.
Rockwall will face off against a very good Klein Forest team from Houston on Friday night. McDonald's All-American Sam Williamson and McNeese St. signee Alec Grandstaff have proved to be a tough tandem to deal with. I wouldn't count a talent like Sam or this team out in any game they play, he's that special. If they can get through this one on Friday they could be looking at a matchup with South Garland on Saturday.
South Garland looks to head back to San Antonio after a tough loss in last year's semi-finals. They will be led by one of America's best HS backcourts in Kentucky signee Tyrese Maxey and Texas A&M signee Chris Harris Jr. They will face off against Spring HS who are led by their own high scoring backcourt of Keionte Cornelius and Christyon Eugene. This should be a very entertaining matchup of guards.
These teams have all done well advancing to this point in the season. There will be some very good teams and players that will play their final games on Friday night.
Kellen C. Buffington