FORT WORTH — Guyer owned Allen, and everyone else for that matter, during a regular season where it lost only once while consistently living up to the state's No. 1 ranking.
But it was clear from the opening tip Saturday that Allen had a plan Guyer couldn't answer.
In a game that took just more than an hour to complete, Allen executed a patient possession game plan while draining time off the clock to handcuff red-hot Guyer en route to a 40-36 win in the Class 6A Region I final at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center.
Allen (33-5) held the ball for nearly three minutes on its first possession and never steered far from that tactic as the game wore on. The Eagles took the lead for good minutes into the second.
Jerritt Dixon and Jaylon Scott scored 14 and 11 points for Allen, which moves on to state.
Guyer (38-2) was held to a season-low in points and had only 17 going into the fourth. Its previous low was 48 in its playoff win against DeSoto. Jalen Wilson was held scoreless through the first three quarters but finished with 11 points. De'Vion Harmon added eight points.
"We had a feeling they would stall. They had shown hints of it in the previous two games," said Guyer coach Grant Long, whose team beat Allen by seven and 21 points in two regular-season meetings. "You see that during the playoffs. There's no shot clock, and that makes things tough.
"We had to be efficient, but we weren't and we also turned the ball over."
The biggest gut punch in terms of miscues came with just less than 36 seconds to play as Guyer, which trailed by only three points at the time, picked off an outlet pass by Allen just past midcourt only to have the play reversed with a traveling call.
It was a rough ending to a quarter that saw Guyer climb back and nearly pull off another late-game miracle. With his team trailing 28-20 early in that frame, Wilson hit an off-balance 3-pointer, then followed with a knifing drive in the paint on Guyer's next possession. He was fouled and quickly converted the 3-point play.
Suddenly, Guyer was down only four with 2:37 left.
Allen immediately used a 6-2 run to extend its lead back to eight with about a minute to play. Brandon Bird hit a clutch 3-pointer for Guyer, and Wilson converted another 3-point play to cut the lead back to three with 36.2 seconds left.
Guyer scored only twice more from the free throw line after the aforementioned travel call.
"It seemed like every time we got close, we'd miss an easy shot or turn the ball over," Long said. "It wasn't because of a lack of energy or effort, though."
Guyer came in hoping to continue its up-tempo style but never was allowed to get into a rhythm. It was a 5-all game after the first quarter, but after taking a slim 8-7 lead, Guyer watched almost helplessly as Allen used a 10-3 run to close the half.
"Any time you fall short of your goals, it hurts," said Long, whose program had never advanced past the second round prior to this year. "It's hard to find words that will make you feel better about it. I'm proud of our seniors. We will lose a few, but I'm excited about who we'll have back."
STEVE GAMEL can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @NewspaperSteve.
Allen 40, Guyer 36
Guyer (38-2) — Jalen Wilson 11, De'Vion Harmon 8, JaKobe Coles 6, Chris Craig 5, Brandon Bird 3, Ty Mcghie 2, Le'Tre Darthard 1.
Allen (33-5) — Jerritt Dixon 14, Jaylon Scott 11, Brenton Mills 10, Isaiah Stevens 3, Jaylen Walker 2.