CLIFTON – After seeing their chances of earning a trip to the postseason for the first time in 15 years slip away last Friday night, the Clifton boys basketball team wrapped up the season with an overwhelming 82-31 road victory over Waco Harmony School of Innovation in the District 17-3A finale Tuesday night.
Senior Everett Sadler led Clifton with a game-high 21 points and six steals, followed by senior TJ Ferch with 15 points, sophomore Alex DeLaHoya with 13 points, junior Cameron Bateson with 10 points and eight rebounds, and senior Seth Williams with six points and eight blocks.
Clifton (6-8 in district, 18-12 overall) finished the season tied for fifth in district with West (6-8, 16-16). In other District 17-3A action Tuesday night, Grandview (14-0, 22-13) wrapped up an undefeated district title with an 84-51 victory at West, Keene (9-5, 15-11) eased past Rio Vista, 63-42, and Whitney (9-5, 13-13) knocked off Maypearl, 41-34. With the loss, Maypearl (9-5, 16-11) finished in a three-way tie for second place with Keene and Whitney.
Facing a do-or-die situation to keep their playoff hopes alive last Friday night, Clifton suffered a heartbreaking 60-58 loss at Whitney as the Wildcats staged a dramatic come-from-behind victory. After leading much of the game, the Cubs missed a last-second baseline out of bounds play to tie the game.
Junior Luis Rodriguez and Ferch led Clifton with 16 points apiece, followed by Sadler with seven, along with sophomore Griffin Phillips and Williams with six each. Junior Cameron Bateson and Ferch pulled down eight rebounds each, while Phillips dished out three assists and Luis Rodriguez came away with three steals.
Friday’s other district results included Grandview crushing Waco Harmony School of Innovation (0-14, 0-17), 70-22, Maypearl rolling over Rio Vista (3-11, 9-21), 55-31, and Keene slipping past West, 51-49.
In the Class 3A Bi-District playoff matchups, 15th-ranked Grandview will battle District 18-3A’s fourth place Eustace, Maypearl tips off against District 18-3A’s runner-up Rice, Whitney faces 16th-ranked District 18-3A champion Malakoff (23-4) at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Ferris, and Keene takes on District 18-3A’s third place Palmer at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Photos by DAVID HARDING