Plainview boys basketball keeps season alive with win over Byng
PLAINVIEW — It doesn’t matter what a squad’s record is in the postseason. Anyone can win on any given day and that’s what makes the playoffs special.
The Plainview High School boys basketball team proved that Thursday afternoon by knocking off Byng 43-40 in the consolation bracket of the 4A Regional Tournament.
“We live to play another day,” said Indians head coach Joe Patton. “I’ve been telling them, ‘Play hard to give yourselves a chance to win in the fourth quarter.’ This is a young team, an inexperienced team. They’ve started to learn it, probably the last eight games. We’ve played hard enough.
"Even against Mount St. Mary, the kids played hard enough for four quarters,” Patton continued. “That kind of opened their eyes to what I mean when I say, ‘You got to play hard.’”
Plainview showcased its determination throughout the second half by staying within striking distance. Byng remained out front for most of the game, but the Indians gained the upper hand for good with 1:23 remaining in the game.
Braeden Stephenson gave Plainview a 41-38 advantage on a pair of technical free throws. That was plenty to shift the momentum, even though Byng had a shot to tie the game with seven ticks on the clock.
“We just kept playing hard,” Patton said. “We’re not going to be an easy out if we keep playing hard. We made free throws, we got good rebounds and played pretty decent defense. They could have folded tent in the first half when they got down seven or eight points, but they didn’t. They kept in it and kept playing hard. And it paid off.”
Ethan Barker led the Indians with 13 points, while Matt McAdams scored nine and Stephenson chipped in eight.
Barker joins Mason Roberts and McKinley Smith as three freshmen playing significant minutes for Plainview and they’ve improved a lot from the start of the season.
“It’s night and day,” Patton said of the freshmen trio. “They can handle the ball, they know when to drive in, they know when to pull the ball out and they’re getting better at everything. They know how to block out. Their conditioning is better.”
Plainview hits the road for Anadarko for a contest at 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26, where the Indians will play Elgin.