San Marcos falls to Pflugerville in playoffs

Photo by Gerald Castillo

High School Boys Basketball

AUSTIN — San Marcos head coach David Norris called missed free throws the story of the Rattlers’ season.

Norris, however, thought San Marcos could flip the script as it led Pflugerville, 44-37, in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s Bi-District playoff game inside Austin’s Toney Burger Activity Center.

But the final 5:33 of regulation encapsulated the Rattlers’ season. San Marcos went 1-of-5 from the free throw line, and Pflugerville outscored the Rattlers, 14-3, to escape with a 51-47 win.

“We missed free throws that would’ve kept us separated,” Norris said. “Make free throws, no matter what they do, we’re still in the lead — we still control, they’ve got to foul us. We missed those and we gave them opportunities to score.”

San Marcos (18-16, 5-6 14-6A) designed its gameplan in hopes of coming out aggressive against Pflugerville (24-9, 11-1 13-6A). But the Panthers jumped out to a 10-4 lead.

The Rattlers, however, used three 3-pointers, including a buzzer-beater from senior guard Sean Price to even the game at 15-15 at the end of the opening quarter.

Pflugerville began the following period on a 9-0 run behind two 3-pointers from senior guard Darius Hausley. But San Marcos, again, worked its way back into the game and another Price shot from beyond the arc tied the contest at 25-25 at the half.

The Rattlers became the aggressors in the third period. San Marcos used nine points from seniors Elias Vasquez, Luis Hernandez and Micah Williamson to claim a 34-29 lead midway through the frame.

Williamson said the team’s aggressive mentality helped it breakthrough in the third quarter.

“We knew that Pflugerville is a very aggressive team, so we had to match their intensity,” Williamson said. “So, we came out here and played really hard. It was a dogfight the entire time.”

San Marcos entered the fourth quarter with a 38-35 lead. Two free throws and an early basket from Williamson pushed the Rattler advantage to 42-37. Then Vasquez sank a shot to give San Marcos its largest advantage of the night at 44-37.

“I thought we did a good job of disrupting their offense,” Norris said. “We got them out of their stuff. They got us on a couple of boards. They were bigger. But man, we just battled. The second half, we came out and guys executed what we wanted them to, and we got the lead.”

But Pflugerville senior guard Isiah Thomas cut the Rattler lead to 47-45 with a 3-pointer, and four straight points from senior guard Dreshawn Dorsey gave the Panthers their first lead since the first half at 49-47.

Pflugerville wouldn’t relinquish the lead and downed San Marcos.

“We just couldn’t hold onto it at the end,” Price said. “We did a solid job. We just kind of let it go through our hands. We’re proud of everybody. We played pretty hard.”

Hernandez led the Rattlers with 14 points followed by nine points from Williamson and six points from Price and Vasquez.

After Tuesday’s disappointing outcome, Norris said he was proud of how his guys played throughout the season.

“They just kept bouncing back all year through adversity — tough games, tough calls — but they came to practice ready to fight,” Norris said. “I’m proud of each of my seniors. We’re going to miss them. A lot of them have been on varsity a long time. Young guys, we got to go back to work.”

San Marcos Daily Record

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