With a 10-player rotation, Vanguard’s boys basketball team is anything but a one-man gang. But the Vikings did put a game in the icebox with a one-man run.
Senior guard Davis Boehm supplied all 13 of his team’s points in a 13-2 surge late in the third quarter, and the No. 2 Vikings broke free from crosstown rival Reicher, 77-46, on Tuesday night at the Vanguard Gym.
Vanguard (27-7 overall, 8-0 in district) clinched the TAPPS 3-4A championship with the victory, and completed a season sweep of the Cougars (15-19, 5-4), who entered the night in a three-way tie for second in the district.
And no Viking navigated the way to the district crown any better than Boehm. The senior captain had trouble finishing around the basket in the first half, so he concentrated on delivering the little things for Vanguard – hustling defense, strong rebounding, heady passing.
But with Vanguard holding an arms-length 39-27 lead over Reicher late in the third, Boehm put his stamp on the scorebook as well. He swished in a 3-pointer, then angled to the basket for a layup following a steal. After a jumper from Reicher’s Chris Hovde, Boehm came back with a baseline drive and bucket, a pair of free throws, a crafty putback in which he followed his own 3-point miss and another steal and pull-up 13-footer.
Boehm scored 13 of his team-high 17 points in that two-minute span, as Vanguard stretched a 12-point gap to 21.
“It doesn’t mean any more to anybody else. He has a tremendous ticker,” Vanguard coach Stephen Brough said of Boehm. “He’s done that a couple of times this year, where he just takes it to another level and takes over the game. That’s what you expect from a senior. He certainly delivers every time.”
Fans from both schools crammed into Vanguard’s gym for the renewal of one of Waco’s most underrated rivalries. Vanguard had taken a 69-55 win over the Cougars on Jan. 13 at Reicher, and Brough said he didn’t need to script any fire-and-brimstone pregame speech for this one.
“My locker room speech before the game was very short and very to the point,” Brough said. “Normally as coaches you have to find about 420 different ways to say, ‘Play hard,’ but when it’s Vanguard and Reicher, you don’t have to amp them up. They’re ready to go.”
Both teams hit quick treys right out of the jump, but it was Vanguard’s inside presence that allowed the Vikings to establish command. Crashing the boards and working inside for position, George Eichenberg and Kobe Thomas combined for nine of Vanguard’s 15 first-quarter points, and the Vikings took a 15-7 lead after one quarter.
Vanguard also maintained a steady onslaught of backcourt pressure on Reicher’s guards, and it resulted in a bevy of steals and errant passes.
“Everybody loves to score in transition,” Brough said. “Our defensive game plan changes from game to game based on the opponent. We knew they were going to be down a player, one of their better ballhandlers, so pressure was definitely on the menu for tonight.”
Reicher’s Jekobe Wiley connected on a deep bank shot while drawing a foul just before the first-half buzzer, but the Cougars still trailed by 14 at the break, 34-20.
Vanguard expanded its advantage to 28 after three quarters, thanks to Boehm’s hotshot stretch. The only real bad news for the Vikings came with 41 seconds remaining in the third, when senior guard Hudson Bradley crumpled to the floor with a knee injury after landing awkwardly following a steal. Brough said that Bradley – who was serenaded with a “Huddy! Huddy!” chant from the always-vociferous Vanguard student section – would be evaluated further following the game.
Spencer Davis and Elijah Wade contributed 12 points apiece for Vanguard, and Eichenberg had 10.
Ben Brittain dropped in 13 points to pace Reicher, and Tanner Haney added 11.
The walls of Vanguard’s venerable, old gym feature more than 40 state championship banners from a variety of sports. Absent is such a flag for boys’ basketball, one of the school’s oldest and most consistent sports.
“We clinched the District 3 championship tonight, so that’s goal number one,” Brough said. “We’ve got a couple of guys banged up, so we obviously need to get them healthy. The ultimate goal all season long is to win the state championship. So the journey continues.”
University 65, A&M Consolidated 53
Senior forward Antoine Hailey dunked home 18 points, and the now No. 1-ranked Trojans extended their perfect run through District 18-5A.
Justin Williams and Jibrael Washington scored 10 points each for University (22-8, 8-0), while usually high-scoring guard Umoja Gibson was limited to just nine points.
College Station 56, Waco High 51 (OT)
The Lions gave the Cougars all they wanted, but College Station prevailed in overtime.
D.J. Montgomery topped Waco High with 15 points, and Ty’Ric Crosby contributed 13.
La Vega 101, Robinson 47
Four players scored in double figures, and the Pirates turned on the afterburners to double up the Rockets.
De’Andre Reese and Stephan Loadholt led the way with 18 apiece for La Vega (18-9, 7-2 in 17-4A), which keeps pace with Connally for first. Kedrick James scored 16 and Amani Gibson had 12.
Gatesville 42, Hillsboro 31
Behind 18 points from post Allaria Jones, the Lady Hornets grounded the Lady Eagles.
Gatesville improves to 29-3 on the season and 10-2 in District 17-4A, as it competes with China Spring and La Vega for the district title.