There’s just a couple weeks to go in the boys basketball season, and several Montgomery County teams are in playoff contention as the stretch run approaches.
Rivals clashed this past Saturday at College Park as The Woodlands played the Cavaliers in the second of three District 13-6A matchups. The stakes were high for both teams, but College Park pulled away in the third quarter and eventually won by 16 points.
The Cavaliers moved another win closer to a district championship. The Highlanders fell, but their playoff streak is in solid shape. They are the only other team in 13-6A with a district record above .500 heading into this week. Grand Oaks, Conroe and Oak Ridge, meanwhile, will battle it out for the next two spots over the coming days.
Magnolia is contending for a playoff spot out of District 19-5A. Magnolia West is also in contention with a handful of games to go.
Lake Creek made the deepest playoff run of any Montgomery County UIL team last season. The Lions are looking for a strong follow-up and have their biggest game of the season later this week in District 20-5A. Rivals New Caney and Porter, meanwhile, are in contention to return to the playoffs for the first time in a few years.
Here’s a few headlines on what to look forward to the next couple weeks:
College Park aims for district title
College Park sits atop District 13-6A with a 9-0 record, three full games ahead of second-place The Woodlands. The Cavaliers are in search of their first outright district title since 2014 when they went unbeaten in league play. College Park shared the title with The Woodlands in 2018 during now-University of Houston star Quentin Grimes’ senior season.
College Park (18-3 overall) is currently on a 10-game winning streak dating back to Dec. 15. In nine district games, College Park has an average margin of victory of 25.1 points with the closest game coming in a four-point win over Oak Ridge on Jan. 2.
College Park has four players scoring in double figures, led by Indiana State signee Drew Calderon at 17.1 points per game. Ty Buckmon (10.4), Marvin Dock (10.3) and Darel Reece (10.0) have also been major contributors.
High hopes for Highlanders
The Woodlands coach Dale Reed mentioned after Saturday’s game at College Park the playoff streak the Highlanders are hoping to keep intact. The Highlanders have not missed the postseason since 2005.
The Woodlands (15-6, 6-3) has played well in district with just the pair of losses to College Park and a loss to Oak Ridge on Jan. 13.
The Woodlands leans on 6-foot-7 center Brock Luechtefeld to lead the way. Senior Hagen Byerly and sophomore Shey Eberwein have come through in clutch moments.
Tigers, Grizzlies and War Eagles … oh my!
There is currently a three-way tie for the final two playoff spots in 13-6A. Conroe and Oak Ridge are looking to get back for the first time in a few years, while Grand Oaks is aiming to garner its first-ever playoff appearance.
Oak Ridge (10-10, 4-5) is looking to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2018. Conroe (8-10, 4-5) has a drought one year longer than that. The War Eagles and Tigers meet tonight at The Pit at Conroe where one team’s playoff hopes could take a hit. Oak Ridge won the first meeting at home, and the teams will meet for a third time on Feb. 12.
Grand Oaks (10-10, 4-5) has its hands full tonight at College Park. The Grizzlies’ district wins include two against Willis, one against Oak Ridge and one against Conroe.
This race will likely go down to the wire.
Lions seeking first title
Lake Creek advanced to the Region III-5A semifinals during a memorable playoff run last year. But one item missing from their historic season was a district championship as Huntsville came away with the top spot.
Huntsville is no longer in the district, and the Lions (12-6, 7-1) have a shot at the golden ball. Wednesday night’s District 20-5A
The Lions’ road game against Kingwood Park on Wednesday night is a key matchup. The teams are tied for first place, and Lake Creek has the series edge with a victory over the Panthers (18-2, 7-1) on Dec. 22.
Hudson Boyd and Jordan Fitch are having stellar senior seasons for the Lions, averaging 18.4 and 16.1 points per game, respectively.
Eagles, Spartans fighting for spots
New Caney (8-7, 5-3) and Porter (9-10, 5-3) are currently tied for third place in District 20-5A. New Caney won the first game between the two on Dec. 22. They meet for a second time on Wednesday night at Porter.
New Caney hasn’t made the playoffs since 2016. Porter, meanwhile, is looking to return to get back for the first time since making consecutive appearances in 2017 and 2018. The programs have never made the playoffs the same season.
The biggest threat to the Eagles and Spartans is Cleveland, which sits one game back.
Magnolia in second place
Magnolia won its first six District 19-5A games, but the team has dropped two straight with a postponement in between.
The Bulldogs (13-7, 6-2) are alone in second place and a half-game in front of Waller, which topped Magnolia this past Friday night.
Magnolia is looking to reach the playoffs for the fifth straight year.
Magnolia West (6-7, 3-5) is hanging around in fifth place, one game behind Bryan Rudder. The Mustangs are fighting for their first playoff berth in a decade.