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Basketball: Garza, resilient Wildcats claw past Jaguars

Profile image for By Adam Boedeker
By Adam Boedeker

COPPELL — Guyer senior Zach Garza is no stranger to big-time performances in the postseason.

Last year, his huge fourth quarter and game-high 29 points propelled the Wildcats to a narrow victory over Flower Mound Marcus in the Wildcats’ first playoff game at the state’s largest classification.

On Tuesday, Garza had a welcomed bout of déjà vu.

The Wildcats’ lone senior starter poured in a game-high 25 points as Guyer fought back from one large deficit after another and used a 33-point fourth quarter to pull away and earn a 75-65 win over Flower Mound in the Class 6A Region I bi-district round.

“I told my team before the game that we had to come out and play to win,” said Garza, who shot 6-for-13 from beyond the 3-point arc. “I don’t want to end [my career] with a loss. This is my senior year. I don’t want to go down in the first round. We play together, and it showed tonight.”

Guyer (30-2) moves on to the Class 6A Region I area round at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Colleyville Heritage against South Grand Prairie (23-8), which knocked off Richland on Monday and finished at No. 15 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches poll.

The game could not have started in much worse fashion for the Wildcats, as they trailed 13-1 with just more than two minutes to play in the first quarter before netting their first field goal on a Garza 3-pointer. That was followed by a De’Vion Harmon trey to pull Guyer within 13-7 after one.

That was a perfect example of the Wildcats’ efforts to rally by hitting what 3-pointers they made in bunches. On the night, Guyer shot 10-for-27 on 3-pointers — hitting at the perfect time.

Garza and Jake Roberts each hit one after Flower Mound built a 12-point lead with three minutes to play in the third, then went back-to-back early in the fourth to give Guyer a four-point lead.

“We’re confident in shooting the 3-pointer,” Guyer coach Grant Long said. “We know we have guys who can hit them. We weren’t shooting well in first half, and it was a one-possession game [at halftime]. I just told them, ‘I promise you they’re going to fall, so keep taking them.’”

Flower Mound (24-9) was led by Christian Edmondson’s 22 points and had three other players in double figures.

Guyer freshmen Jalen Wilson and De’Vion Harmon provided some punch with 18 and 15 points, respectively, while Wilson added eight rebounds. Roberts chipped in with nine points, and junior post player Luke Helgesen scored eight to go with a fantastic effort on the boards.

“He started off a little nervous in that playoff atmosphere, but man did he come on,” Long said of Helgesen. “He responded. He’s that do-it-all guy. He takes charges, gets rebounds, blocks out, defends as hard as he can.”

With his team now back to the round where its season ended a year ago, Garza said he’s intent on making up for the Wildcats’ second-round loss to Cedar Hill last season.

“It’s not going to happen like that,” Garza said. “That’s all I have to say.”

ADAM BOEDEKER can be reached at 940-566-6872 and via Twitter at @aboedeker.

Guyer 75, Flower Mound 65

Guyer

7

14

21

33

75

Flower Mound

13

11

22

19

65

Guyer (30-2) — Zach Garza 25, Jalen Wilson 18, De’Vion Harmon 15, Jake Roberts 9, Luke Helgesen 8.

Flower Mound (24-9) — Adam Dworsky 13, John Scully 11, Bryce Boyd 4, Dylan Goerlich 1, Isaiah Brown 14, Christian Edmondson 22.