Varsity basketball finishes season in Regional finals

Drew Brown

It’s been 12 years since the Chaps advanced to the Regional Finals, and getting there was no easy feat. It ended in a high-scoring game with the biggest stakes of the season as Westlake faced the no. 1 team in the state Saturday in Dallas in the Regional Finals. Just one game short of the State Championship game, the Chaps fell 65-80 after a strong post-season run where they were able to defeat two State-ranked opponents.

After going 28-3, including an undefeated District record, coach Robert Lucero lead the boys to one of their strongest records in recent history.

“There are many things that made Lucero a good coach,” junior Joey Severt said. “He is a very intense coach, and our practices can be very demanding. That’s why we’re always prepared for high stakes games. He also knows how to connect with us on a personal level and knows how to individually coach very well.”

The postseason has been no easy journey. The Chaps faced Pflugerville in the first round of playoffs, winning 58-46 with sophomore Matthew Mayer leading inside the paint. The next win was not taken so easily. Playing the no. 15 team in the state, Dekaney High School, the boys were able to hold on to a win in the final seconds of the game. The two teams climbed the ladder of scoring until the final minutes. With a huge student section turn out, the Chaps were able to secure a 67-63 win as the underdog in one of the team’s most important games this season.

“Dekaney was no easy feat,” captain senior Cameron Willis said. “We came into it as the underdogs, and although we were off to a slow start in the third quarter, we were able to pull it out in the fourth and take home the victory. The team was the most excited I have ever seen them.”

Next on the list was Lake Travis. Having previously beaten the Cavaliers in the regular season 65-46, the Chaps entered play with confidence. Playing at a neutral gym at Burger Center, the student turnout from both sides proved useful in the notorious rivalry between the schools. Once again, the Chaps took home the victory 50-32 to move on to the fourth round.

In the Region 2 Final, Westlake played Dallas Skyline on March 4. The no. 13 team in State was once again the favored winner against Westlake. However, despite the odds, Westlake held Skyline to 32 points while scoring 46 to pull out the win and move on to the Regional Finals.

In the Regional finals was where Westlake faced their downfall; just one game short of the State Championship. Playing the no. 1 team in State, Westlake faced Atascocita High School. It was a hard fought game which left the Chaps in a 65-80 deficit, sending the boys home on one of the greatest State runs in program history.