The Cooldown: Week 18

January is beginning to wind down and teams across the metroplex are in the back half of district play. The next few weeks will set the table for the postseason and determine which teams will have a shot at making history. Let’s recap a few recent games and storylines from across the metroplex.

Plano takes down Plano West

The Plano girls took down Plano West 66-58 last Friday night. Plano needed the win to remain in the playoff picture, improving to 3-6 in district play. The Lady Wildcats are 3-6 in District 6-6A and are tied with Lewisville for fifth place. Plano East is currently the last team in the playoff picture in fourth place at 5-4. While the win was important, the playoff picture wasn’t the main storyline in this game.

This game featured two 40-point scorers, one from each team. Plano’s Salese Blow dropped 43 points and Plano West’s Monica Marsh scored 41 points. Blow got help on the offensive end from Khadija Aruna, who scored 11 points, and Kenya Palmer-Taylor, who added eight points in the win. Plano has a few games to make up in the standings to catch Plano East for the last playoff spot with four games remaining in district play.

Prosper beats McKinney Boyd

Another tight district race is sorting itself out on the men’s side of District 5-6A. Allen still leads the district standings at 7-0, but Prosper, McKinney Boyd and McKinney are all tied for second at 4-3. Denton Guyer and Prosper Rock Hill are 3-4 and Denton Braswell is lurking at 2-5. Prosper was at the bottom of the district standings just two weeks ago before reeling off three straight wins in district play, including a 57-51 win over McKinney Boyd last Friday.

Zander James scored 17 points to pace the Eagles, and Jaxson Ford chipped in 10 points in the win. The most impressive and meaningful part of Prosper’s three game winning streak is that it has come against McKinney, Denton Guyer and McKinney Boyd. All three of those teams will compete for a playoff spot and two of those three teams are currently tied with Prosper for the second seed.

Newman Smith defeats Frisco Wakeland

Newman Smith took out Frisco Wakeland in a defensive slugfest, 36-33. The win pushes Newman Smith’s winning streak to 15 games and keeps the Trojans undefeated in district play. Nic Codie made a layup to give Newman Smith a 34-33 lead late in the game as part of his nine points on the night. Demonte Greene led the way for the Trojans with 10 points. TeZhan Froncois added eight points in the win. Matt Hampton scored 15 points for McKinney North and Luke Lee chipped in eight points for the Wolverines.

One Game to Watch

Byron Nelson and Keller are tied for first place in District 4-6A at 6-1 each. Byron Nelson beat the Indians 81-66 on the road earlier this month but lost to Keller Central 51-46 at home a few days later. Keller needs a win to stay in contention for a district title while Byron Nelson can put itself in a good position, with a win. Byron Nelson star guard Finley Bizjack recently surpassed 2,500 points in his high school career and dropped 33 points on Keller in the first matchup. Keller will have to slow down the sweet shooting guard to have a chance on Friday night.

Player of the Week

My Player of the Week is Plano’s Salese Blow! As mentioned above, Blow dropped 43 points for the Lady Wildcats in a win over Plano West last week. The senior has several other performances of 40+ points this season and a career high of 57 points! Blow has accounted for more than 50 percent of Plano’s points so far this season, but the Blow and the Lady Wildcats have more work to do over the next few weeks to make the playoffs.