in Boys Basketball

After Clifton Cubs narrowly miss advancing to the boys basketball playoffs for the second straight season, Devora, Wells named to All-District 17-3A first-team squad

After competing for a playoff berth until the final buzzer of the 2022-23 Texas high school basketball season, the Clifton Cubs boys basketball team received accolades recognizing their efforts.

When All-District 17-3A honors were released Monday, Clifton juniors Andres Devora and Jacob Wells were named to the first team, while senior Makail Brandenberger as well as sophomores Ray Ochoa and Joaquin De la Hoya drew second-team honors. In addition, senior Jadyn Simmons along with sophomores Brody Baggett and Jonah Payne were honorable mentions.

Going into the regular season finale against Grandview, Clifton found itself in a head-to-head battle for the final postseason berth in District 17-3A. Despite going into the fourth quarter leading by a point, the inexperienced Cubs could not finish the job as Grandview rallied to come from behind and escape with a 65-56 do-or-die victory.

“We were right where we wanted to be going into the final period,” Clifton boys basketball head coach Tom Daniel said. “But Grandview came out and took it away from us.

“We’ve been talking about how close this district was going to be all season long. I was convinced it would come right down to the last game – the last day of the season. As it turned out, it came down to the last quarter in the last game. It can’t get much more exciting than that.”

Devora produced a double-double to lead the Cubs with 18 points and dishing out 10 assists, followed by De la Hoya with 15 points as well as Wells with 13 points and five assists, while Brandenberger dished out three assists and came up with a team-high three steals.

With the win eliminating the Cubs (5-7 in district, 11-17 overall), Grandview (7-5, 20-14) locked down the fourth place and final playoff berth coming out of District 17-3A behind district champion Whitney (10-2, 22-12), while Maypearl (9-3, 21-13) and Keene (3-3, 26-9).

On the season, Devora led the Cubs in scoring with 13.6 points per game while pulling down 5.3 rebounds per game and dishing out a team-high 3.7 assists per game. Wells routinely scored in double figures, averaging 11.1 points per game.

Despite getting a late start coming off an injury sustained in football, Baggett led the Cubs in rebounding, averaging 5.5 board per game, while scoring 6.1 points per game. Ochoa proved to be a steady hand all season, averaging 6.6 points per game, pulling down 3.9 rebounds per game and coming up with a team-high 2.5 steals per game. Likewise, De la Hoya averaged 5.0 points per game and pulled down 4.1 rebounds per game.

Cubs also being named to the Academic All-District 17-3A team were Brandenberger, De la Hoya, Ochoa, Payne, Wells, junior Riley Davis and junior Eddie Gaona.


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