Marcus Edges Centennial for 5A Basketball Crown

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Marcus Smart scored 16 points and grabbed the game-clinching defensive rebound as Lewisville Marcus beat Garland Lakeview Centennial 40-38 in a wild Class 5A state championship game Saturday night. Lewisville Marcus (39-1) led 29-9 at halftime before Centennial (37-2) came roaring back in the third quarter to tie it at 31 going into the fourth. Centennial took the lead in the fourth before Nick Banyard made it 36-36 with two free throws with less than 3 minutes to play. Smart scored Lewisville Marcus' last two baskets. Chris Jones scored 19 to lead Centennial's comeback, but his short baseline jumper with 1 second left bounced out and Smart grabbed the rebound. Lewisville Marcus, a state semifinalist last season, won the school's first state championship despite scoring just 11 points in the second half. Lakeview Centennial was the top-ranked team in the state with three starters from the squad that lost in last season's state final. Centennial had won 36 in a row, but the Marauders held the Patriots to just two points in the second quarter. Centennial was just 4 of 24 shooting in the first half with 12 turnovers. Smart and Phil Forte made two 3-pointers before a crosscourt pass to Banyard set up an easy dunk for a 10-2 lead. Centennial managed to cut the lead to 10-7 before everything fell apart in the second quarter. Banyard soared high for a rebound and caught two defenders looking when he dropped a soft pass to Connor Taggart for an easy layup. Smart then split two defenders on the dribble before powering over another for a basket and his tip-in moments later made it 18-7. When Austin Bianco nailed a 3-pointer from the left corner, Lewisville Marcus rolled into halftime leading 29-9. The Patriots came roaring back in the third quarter under relentless full-court pressure defense, and Bryan Lipsey made two quick baskets to start the scoring. When Cameron Leonard blocked a shot by Taggart, Centennial raced to a layup by Jones that cut the lead to 31-25. The comeback was complete when Bobajide Aina stole the ball from Smart and finished the layup to tie it 31-31. Centennial's run wasn't done. Lewisville Marcus looked stunned by its collapse and Jones opened the fourth with a 3-pointer. Centennial even pushed the lead to 36-31 before Lewisville Marcus finally scored when A.J. Lucky bolted through the lane for an uncontested layup. Banyard tied it with his two free throws with 2:38 to play and Smart's tip-in a minute later put Lewisville Marcus back on top.