Jesuit’s Reid Hatzmann is defended by Klein Forest’ Kharee McDaniel during a Class 6A Region II semifinal game on Friday. (Photo: Tanner Garza)
By Sean Shapiro / Special Contributor
The best UIL playoff run in Jesuit history came to an end in the Class 6A Region II semifinals on Friday at Davis Field House. Top-ranked and undefeated Klein Forest jumped out to an early lead and never trailed in a 71-57 victory.
Cedrick Alley had a game-high 31 points, including 16 in the first quarter, for the Eagles (34-0). Tavion Robinson added 16 points.
“We had our chances. We just didn’t play very well,” Jesuit head coach Chris Hill said. “They’re very good, well coached, and very athletic. But we had our chances to get back in it and we didn’t play real well.”
Mitch Prendergast led the Rangers (23-11) with 16 points. Michael Jankovich finished with 14 and Marcus Hill added nine.
Klein Forest’s Reggie Miller hit a corner 3-pointer on the opening possession to spark a 13-4 run to start the game. The Eagles led 20-9 after the first quarter, but Jesuit cut the deficit to 36-29 before halftime when it connected on three 3-pointers and started getting to the free-throw line in the second quarter.
Jesuit continued to fire 3-pointers in the second half and finished with nine in the game, but couldn’t make up for the early deficit as the Eagles won by double digits for the 30th time this season.
While the season came to an end, Jesuit surpassed expectations by reaching the regional tournament. With 10 losses in the regular season, the Rangers were an underdog throughout their postseason push.
“I’m proud of them. Tonight we could have done better, but no one picked us to be here,” Hill said. “Before the season started, we weren’t even picked as one of the top four teams in our district, so to be playing as one of the top four teams in the region is something we can be proud of.”