Boys varsity basketball shoots lights-out from three to beat Churchill in Bi-District round of playoffs

There wasn’t much Westlake, and especially senior Matthew Mayer, could do wrong offensively Monday night at New Braunfels High School, where they beat Churchill 92-70 in the Bi-District round of playoffs.

Matthew scored a game-high 32 points, a welcome sight after scoring just nine points in limited action against Vista Ridge last Tuesday.

“I just want to stay as aggressive as possible, and sometimes, I don’t do that, especially in the games before [this one]” he said. “I’m trying to be as aggressive as possible, but not being selfish. I’m looking for my shots.”

Westlake head coach Robert Lucero said his team’s biggest worry coming into the night was Churchill’s three-point shooting. The Chargers hit 10 shots from downtown in the first half, but cooled down considerably in the second, shooting 5-15 from deep.

Matthew was tasked with guarding the Estrada brothers when he was on the floor, and he was able to use his length to force tough shots. He was a big reason why Churchill’s shooting percentages went down in the second half in addition to guards Luke Pluymen and Keonte Kennedy, both seniors.

Senior Alex Estrada still finished the night with 23 points, and his twin, Aaron Estrada, finished with 17.

“It’s tough because they can shoot it from so deep, so you got to get way up on them, but they’re quick and can go by you too,” Matthew said. “[My length] helped a lot in contesting their shots, but they were really good.”

While most of the team enjoyed great shooting nights, senior Brock Cunningham struggled to find his shot all game, missing all three of his shots from behind the arc. But he found other ways to make contributions, almost earning a double-double with rebounds, 11, and assists, nine.

“[I’m just trying to] drive and kick — draw two [defenders] and try and find the open guy,” he said. “With this team, I don’t need to score 20 a night like on most high school teams. I just give it to the other guys, and do what I can control, which is rebounding and passing.”

While the Chargers were outmatched in height, head coach Brad Lacey didn’t blame his team’s defensive woes on that fact. Instead, he pointed to Westlake’s great shooting ability and talent level, adding that against most teams, 70 points would be enough to win the game.

“They just shot the ball so well,” Lacey said. “Their size didn’t bother us as much as their shooting did. They hit six three’s in the first quarter, and we tried to guard them, but they just needed to miss some of those shots tonight.”

The win propels Westlake into the Area Championship round of the postseason where they may face a familiar foe — Judson. The Chaps came out on top of that matchup last year, 93-74, but it featured plenty of up-and-down basketball.

But for that game to happen again, Judson will need to beat Stevens in its game Tuesday night. Regardless of that game’s result, Brock said Westlake is purely focused on their own game, not anyone else’s.

“We’re more focused on what we have to do,” he said. “If we take care of our fundamentals and everything, we can beat anyone in the state, so that’s what we have to focus on and not worry about who’s next.”