Posted On: 02/26/21 9:25 AM
Round 2 of the Texas UIL playoffs got off to a thrilling start at Buddy Hopson Fieldhouse in Missouri City, TX, Tuesday night. Heights (Houston, TX) defeated Fort Bend Bush (Richmond, TX) 57-52 in overtime to advance to round 3 of the UIL playoffs. Wednesday evening, at the beautiful Delmar Fieldhouse in Houston, TX, Bellaire (Houston, TX) and Fort Bend Ridge Point (Missouri City, TX) faced off. The game was never in doubt as Ridge Point got out to a quick lead and never squandered it- winning the game 71-42.
Heights (57)-Fort Bend Bush (52)
Throughout the first half, it seemed as if the Fort Bend Bush Broncos had too much size and talent for Heights to overcome. Despite a 10-point halftime lead, Bush lost control of the game in the second half once Heights ditched their man defense and turned the pressure up full court.
Heights utilized a 2-3 zone in the half-court, but it was their 1-2-2 trapping press that repeatedly sped Bush up, causing several mishandles and errant passes. Many times, Bush couldn’t even advance the ball past the three-point line, let alone half-court, before turning the ball over. Heights was eventually able to overcome a ten-point deficit going into the 4th quarter to send the game into overtime where they were able to pull away. Heights deserves a ton of credit for competing harder against a longer, more athletically talented team. Heights was led by seniors Sir Roberts & Jaiden Briscoe. FB Bush’s player of the game was Brandon Love Brandon Love 6'9" | C Fort Bend Bush | 2021 State TX .
#15 Sir Roberts (Heights- 2021) Despite being listed at only 6’2, Sir Roberts constantly hustled for offensive rebound putbacks against much longer players. He showed some athleticism & soft touch on finishes while showing some skill- being able to knock down the three and take bigger players off the dribble. Roberts’ biggest asset is his toughness and competitiveness. He was all over the court, helping force turnovers in Heights’ trapping press and picking off passes himself. Roberts is a tough, versatile player as he led all scorers with 19 points.
#30 Jaiden Briscoe (Heights- 2021) The lefty senior guard ran the show for Heights. Jaiden Briscoe has some wiggle to his game with nice footwork. He seemed prime to put defenders on skates at any moment. To end the third quarter, Briscoe executed a left to right crossover into a spin-step thru finish that seemed to get him going. He started the 4th quarter with a step-back three and followed it with a pull-up three later in the quarter to give Heights the lead. Briscoe rose to the occasion when his team needed him most. He finished with 12 points, all in the 2nd half.
#24 Brandon Love Brandon Love 6'9" | C Fort Bend Bush | 2021 State TX (Fort Bend Bush-2021) Uncommitted Division 1 prospect, Brandon Love Brandon Love 6'9" | C Fort Bend Bush | 2021 State TX was routinely scoring over shorter defenders on the block in the first half while being able to find open shooters & cutters when Heights sent a double at him. The 6’9 Love was an even bigger factor on the defensive end, altering and blocking shots seemingly every possession. Love was such a force defensively that Bush was able to hold Heights to only 9 points at the half (Bush led 19-9 at the half). Love finished the game with 7 blocks in total to go along with 14 points. He showed glimpses of some ball-handling fluidity in space while being a constant lob threat with good activity on both glasses, grabbing boards with two hands consistently. Love had his share of verticality-altering shots as well.
Fort Bend Ridge Point (71)-Bellaire (42)
In the Round 2 game at Delmar Fieldhouse, FB Ridge Point played their usual total-team attack that spreads teams out with a drive-and-kick approach that’s hard to defend when their threes are falling. Against Bellaire, they were able to get easy buckets in transition and dismantled Bellaire on the glass, seemingly getting offensive rebounds every time down the floor. Defensively, Ridge Point did a good job of guarding the ball and building a wall against Bellaire’s talented guards. Ridge Point has multiple players that can equally impact the game.
#11 Reggie Prudhomme Jr. (Ridge Point- 2021) Reggie Prudhomme Jr. showed the ability to finish through contact at the rim with speed in transition. Prudhomme Jr. is a good athlete in space and can catch a lob at just 6’0. He has the ability to drive and kick to shooters and hit open threes himself. Prudhomme Jr. is a tough, athletic guard with speed that can play college basketball at some level.
#2 Zach Gonsoulin Zach Gonsoulin 6'0" | CG Ridge Point | 2021 TX (Ridge Point- 2021) Zach Gonsoulin Zach Gonsoulin 6'0" | CG Ridge Point | 2021 TX made things happen every time he was on the floor. He has active hands, plays fast, and pitches the ball ahead in transition. Gonsoulin is not just a good shooter, but a sniper from deep with his feet set. Gonsoulin can play with star players because he doesn’t need the ball in his hands to help his team win.
#12 Luis Rodriquez (Ridge Point- 2021) Rodriguez also has the ability to play with other good players. In the 4th quarter, Rodriguez showed off a nice spin move against pressure to shake free of his defender and hit a floater. He has a smooth stroke from deep as well and makes the right play most of the time. He was the leading scorer for Ridge Point with 14 points.
#15 Conlie Christmas Conlie Christmas 6'4" | PF Dawson | 2022 State TX (Ridge Point- 2022) Conlie Christmas Conlie Christmas 6'4" | PF Dawson | 2022 State TX got whatever he wanted on the offensive glass against Bellaire. Christmas played hard and had a nice block that led to a three on the other end. Christmas had multiple putbacks and his effort & energy was infectious for his team.
#1 Elijah Lawrence Elijah Lawrence 6'1" | PG Bellaire | 2021 State TX (Bellaire- 2021) Elijah Lawrence Elijah Lawrence 6'1" | PG Bellaire | 2021 State TX is one of the top seniors in the Houston area. He immediately stood out as a Division 1 caliber athlete that can get in the passing lanes defensively and showed off an impressive between the legs snatch-back pull-up to start the game. Lawrence is a good finisher in transition and can shoot the ball off the catch with the ability to create pull-ups off the bounce. The Rice commit was clearly the focus of Ridge Point’s defense as he was constantly trapped throughout the game. Despite the extra attention and lopsided score, Lawrence never quit, played hard without ever exiting the game, and was able to get to the cup and show his finishing ability when he could find an open lane to exploit.
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