Beaumont United (36-1) escaped with a 70-68 victory over Brennan (San Antonio)
in the first semifinal contest of the state's highest classification as top 50 Washington signee Wesley Yates III
led the way with a game-high 31 points.
The Timberwolves led wire-to-wire and appeared to be in control the majority of the contest before a frenzied final two minutes. Beaumont United built its advantage to as many as 16 points early in the third quarter and led 14-7 after the first quarter, 32-22 at the half and 54-45 at the end of the third period.
Four-star Washington signee Wesley Yates finished with a game-high 31 points to guide Beaumont United to its third consecutive state title game. (Photo: Tommy Hays)
Following a pair of made free throws from Yates to give United a 68-57 advantage with 1:45 remaining, Brennan (32-8) went on an 11-1 run to cut the deficit to 69-68 with 31 seconds remaining. Sophomore Kingston Flemings
scored seven of those 11 in just over a minute of action.
Despite multiple opportunities to take the lead late, including a missed 3-pointer from sophomore Camden Cowgill
at the buzzer, the Bears never led in the contest.
Freshman Isaiah Ward
finished with 26 points and 14 rebounds while shooting 11 of 18 from the field in the loss.
Lake Highlands (33-3) breezed past DeSoto
52-44 in the second semifinal paced by a game-high 13 points and 12 rebounds from top-ranked junior Tre Johnson
despite shooting just 1 of 10 from the field.
The only lead of the night for DeSoto (30-9) came on a made free throw early in the game for a 1-0 advantage before the Wildcats went on a 9-0 run and extended the advantage to 16-6 after the first quarter.
Lake Highlands methodically extended its lead throughout the contest, leading 29-14 at halftime and 43-25 at the end of the third period.
Although DeSoto was able to force a handful of turnovers to make things interesting in the fourth quarter by cutting the deficit to six points with 17 seconds remaining, the Eagles ran out of time to complete the comeback.
Lake Highlands looks to capture its first state title since 1968 on Saturday while Beaumont United looks to claim its third consecutive state crown after winning back-to-back titles in Class 5A.
Texas will crown six state champions tomorrow, culminating with the Class 6A state title game at 8:30 p.m. local time.
Top-ranked junior Tre Johnson contributed 13 points and 12 rebounds in the win for Lake Highlands. (Photo: Eddie Kelly)