Williamson’s strong performance powers San Marcos to playoff berth

Photo by Gerald Castillo

High School Boys Basketball

AUSTIN — Swirling through Micah Williamson’s mind before San Marcos’ playoff play-in game against Manor was that Friday might be the last time he donned Rattler purple and white.

The senior forward led San Marcos with 20 points in the Rattlers’ 61-48 win over the Mustangs on Friday inside Austin’s Toney Burger Activity Center and ensured himself and his teammates another game. 

“I thought this could be my last game of my basketball career ever so I didn’t want that to happen,” Williamson said. “So, I came out here like it was the last game and I hooped.”

San Marcos (18-15, 5-6 14-6A) needed the extra game to earn its playoff spot after finishing the regular season tied for fourth in District 14-6A with Manor (18-16, 4-7).

The Rattlers came out strong with Williamson making an impact early against the Mustangs. Williamson earned the Rattlers' first bucket and he added another basket later in the opening quarter. The Rattlers held Manor in check and took an 11-4 lead into the second quarter.

Williamson continued to make his presence known in the opening half with nine points in the second period. San Marcos’ offense received three 3-pointers and outscored the Mustangs, 22-13, in the frame to take a 33-18 lead into halftime.

“Micah in the first half, he was unconscious,” head coach David Norris said. “A couple of times down the stretch, he came up big. I told him, ‘One thing, win, do whatever it takes to win.’”

But Manor made a run in the third quarter and took advantage of poorly timed fouls from the Rattlers. The Mustangs outscored San Marcos, 14-8, to cut the deficit down to 41-32 heading into the final quarter.

Senior guard Luis Hernandez sank a 3-pointer followed by a bucket inside from Williamson to push the Rattler advantage to 46-35. But Manor center Prince Umanmielen, who finished the contest with a game-high 26 points, kept the Mustangs in the game with his inside presence. Umanmielen got Manor within nine-points of the Rattlers midway through the fourth quarter but the Mustangs wouldn't get any closer.

Williamson put his final stamp on the game with block on a Manor 3-point attempt late in the fourth quarter and helped the Rattlers secure their third consecutive playoff appearance.

“I knew that Manor, we had the tough loss to them (on Jan. 13), and we wanted revenge on them,” Williamson said. “To beat them and have another game this season, it means everything.”

Williamson’s strong performance resonated with his teammates after the game. Senior guard Elias Vasquez said Williamson’s 20 points were key in Friday’s win.

“I saw him crashing the board early on, I liked that,” Vasquez said. “I liked his aggressiveness going to the rim and he really helped us out tonight.”

Alongside Williamson’s 20-point output, San Marcos received a balanced scoring effort from the rest of the team. Senior guard Evan Lemuz scored eight points off the bench, while Vasquez and senior center Derek Boston both added six points.

“These guys, you know, we’ve been up and down — tough games, tough calls — and I’m just proud of these guys to get this win,” Norris said. “They deserved it. They worked hard.”

San Marcos begins its playoff run against Pflugerville, District 13-6A’s champions, on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. inside the Burger Center. Williamson said it’s going to take the same kind of performance they put together Friday to defeat the Panthers.

“It’s going to be tough,” Williamson said. “We’re fourth place and they’re the one seed. We just got to go into practice tomorrow and next week and stay focused and get our minds right, and we’ll be ready.”

San Marcos Daily Record

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