Texas isn't wasting time separating the contenders from the pretenders in the Class 5A and 4A state basketball tournaments.
Three major postseason showdowns in the Lone Star State are set, setting up the season's first big weekend of state playoff basketball nationwide.
Here's a look at some games to watch in the coming days;Florida Class 6A regional finalWinter Park vs. DeLand (DeLand) – SaturdayAustin Rivers
and Winter Park are bidding for back-to-back 6A state titles, but will have to get past 24-6 DeLand on Saturday to reach the state semifinals in Lakeland. DeLand is led by Stetson signee Dennis Diaz
(14.6 points, 6.9 rebounds per game).
Florida Class 5A regional finalNo. 15 Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens) vs. Palm Bay (Melbourne) – Saturday
Dwyer improved to 29-1 following a surprisingly-lopsided 81-54 win over Dillard (Fort Lauderdale)
in the regional semifinals. Jacoby Brissett
and the Panthers will look to punch their ticket to Lakeland by taking out Palm Bay in the regional final. Dwyer hasn't been involved in a game decided by fewer than 13 points since Jan. 8.Nevada Class 4A state championshipNo. 24 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) vs. Bishop Manogue (Reno) – Thursday
Bishop Gorman is seeking its 14th state championship all-time and fifth since 2002 under head coach Grant Rice. The Gaels open with Bishop Manogue tonight. The winner meets the victor of Canyon Springs (North Las Vegas)
-Sierra Vista (Las Vegas)
. Most fans in Nevada would love to see Gorman face 27-2 Canyon Springs on Friday for the state title at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.Texas Class 5A area roundNo. 4 Marcus (Flower Mound) vs. Duncanville – Saturday
After dispatching Fossil Ridge (Keller)
in the opening round to improve to 33-1, Marcus is stepping into dangerous territory Thursday night against perennial power Duncanville, winners of eight games in a row including a 60-57 upset of Cedar Hill
in the regular-season finale. Seniors Luke Mergerson
and Jeremy Atkins
combined for 54 points in a bi-district round win over Irving, 82-69.No. 12 Lakeview Centennial (Garland) vs. Bryan – Friday
Like Marcus, Centennial has its hands full early on in the postseason with Bryan. The Vikings feature star junior J-Mychal Reese
, who is averaging 27.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game. Lakeview Centennial blasted Lake Highlands (Dallas)
in the opening round 98-74.Texas Class 4A area roundYates (Houston) vs. La Marque – Friday
Expect some fireworks in this one. Defending national champ and two-time defending 4A state champ Yates (25-3) hasn't lost since late December and is averaging 105.2 points per game. La Marque enters the showdown sporting a 28-4 mark and features Texas signee Julien Lewis
, who is averaging 25.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.