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Boys basketball: Ponder set for state semis

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Staff report

After a thrilling, last-second win over District 9-2A rival Brock, the Ponder Lions will attempt to win their fifth state basketball championship in program history this weekend in Austin.

Ponder (30-7), the state’s No. 4 team in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class 2A poll, used two free throws from senior Josh Peterson in the final second to break a tie against Brock on Saturday for a 50-48 win in the Class 2A Region II final and advance to the school’s eighth state tournament.

The Lions will open up play at Austin’s Frank Erwin Center on Friday in the Class 2A state semifinals against No. 10 Aransas Pass (33-7), with the teams scheduled for an 8:30 a.m. tipoff. The other 2A semifinal pits No. 2 Tatum (34-4) against No. 11 Bushland (27-8). The winners of the semifinal games will meet at 1:30 p.m. Saturday for the Class 2A state championship.

Ponder won three straight state championships from 2008-2010, with the third coming in head coach Jude Stanley’s first season leading the Lions.