San Marcos battles Manor in winner-take-all game

Photo by Gerald Castillo

High School Boys Basketball

San Marcos always wanted its final games of the season to matter. 

And after a loss to Del Valle combined with a Manor win over Austin Bowie on Tuesday, the Rattlers meet Manor for District 14-6A’s final playoff spot tonight at 7:30 p.m. inside Austin’s Toney Burger Activity Center. 

“It’s tough,” head coach David Norris said. “We would’ve liked to have won (against Del Valle) and not have to worry. I tell our guys, ‘Yeah you want to be district champions but at the end of the day you want the last game of the season to mean something.”

San Marcos (17-15, 4-6 14-6A) and Manor (18-15, 4-6) split the season series with both teams winning on their home court. 

The Mustangs’ victory on Jan. 13 ended in confusing fashion. A controversial call after a tie-up awarded Manor possession after Norris was told before the tie-up that it would be Rattler ball. The Mustangs used the extra possession to sink a 3-pointer to send the game into overtime. Manor downed San Marcos, 70-63. 

The Rattlers appeared on their way to a comfortable win over the Mustangs during their second meeting. San Marcos held a 55-49 advantage late in the fourth quarter. But Manor cut the Rattler lead down to 56-53 with 8.6 seconds remaining. Manor junior guard Justin Harris threw up a buzzer-beater 3-point attempt that fell short but he was fouled in the process. Harris went 2-of-3 from the free throw line and San Marcos claimed a 56-55 win. 

Rattler senior guard Daniel Pearson said he was confident in his team before finding out whether the Rattlers would be forced to play Manor again or if they made the playoffs. 

“I know we’re going to go out and produce no matter what or who we play,” Pearson said after Tuesday’s loss to Del Valle. “Just the way we competed out there (against the Cardinals). We fought and didn’t give up to the end ... Whoever our next opponent is, we’re going to do the same to them.”

Both team’s come into tonight’s game evenly matched. For San Marcos, it may come down to its bench, which has seen plenty of action over the last two games.  

“They’ve been working hard in practice,” Norris said. “Sam DeLeon came in and did some good things (against Del Valle). Derek Sanchez, again, rebounding and Josh Wilder came in early and did some good solid things in there. The bench has been working. Sophomore (Pablo Rios) got out there and that’s going to help him for years to come.”

Awaiting tonight’s winner is Pflugerville, District 13-6A’s champion, who will face off with them in the bi-district playoff round. 

San Marcos Daily Record

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