GARLAND — Coming into Tuesday night’s game, Anna knew that it was going to have a hard time matching up against the No. 1-ranked Class 3A team in the state. After taking care of business in their play-in game days earlier against Community, where the Coyotes took control in the fourth quarter to rally, win and earn a playoff berth, they advanced to take on a Goliath.
The Madison Trojans came into the game an impressive 24-3, ranked tops in 3A and the defending 3A champion, and are looking to repeat and get their third state title in six years. It had been five years since the Coyotes had made it into the playoffs.
But the 18-14 Coyotes went into the game determined to give their all and hopefully show the strides that the team has made in the last two seasons under head coach Nick Sekeres.
Anna might have shocked the Trojans, scoring first on a Brennan White jumper in the lane. Alex Scheidt hit a shot to knot the game at 4-all, and a free throw from Adriun Harrison gave the Coyotes a 7-6 advantage.
Then Madison did what they’ve been known to do; take over. The Trojans put together a 22-3 run to close out the opening quarter.
"Dallas Madison is number one for a reason," Sekeres said. "We did a good job on our shooters in the half court and we even did a decent job on the glass. They are darn near unguardable when they get out in transition like what they did during a portion of the game."
Despite falling behind early, the Coyotes showed some fight in the second quarter. Harrison hit a shot to start an Anna run and Dylan Duncan scored five consecutive points with a free throw jumper and then a three to bring Anna within 20.
Freshman Keamoni Mattocks knocked down a three and Anna used a 10-point scoring run to go into halftime trailing by 16.
"I really was pleased during the stretches we caused them to play in the half court," Sekeres said. "It was exciting to take an early lead in the first and to cut their lead to 14 in the third, but ultimately they were able to put us out of reach in a hurry. They are very good and its no surprise they are a favorite to get to Austin."
Harrison, playing in his last game as a Coyote, led the team with eight points. Mattocks and Scheidt added six each and Duncan finished with five. Other Anna scorers included: Jeff Muchai (4), Brennan White (4) and Brandon Williams (2).
In addition to Harrison, the Coyotes will also lose senior Ben Ramos but the young Coyote team will return several players — four starters — with varsity experience. Jeff Muchai, Scheidt and Duncan will be seniors on next years squad, with Chase Henson, Gage Scribner and White returning as juniors. Mattocks and EJ Smith will be sophomores next year and hope to lead the team to back-to-back playoff appearances.
M 28 9 14 31 — 82
A 9 12 7 7 — 35