EL PASO, Texas - It's a big deal when one EL Paso-area team makes the Sweet 16 in the UIL Texas State Basketball Playoffs playoffs. It's a statement when there's two that qualify.
Americas smothered Frenship in the 6A Regional Quarterfinal, and Chapin throttled city neighbor Ysleta in the 5A bracket as both teams booked their ticket to their respective Rounds of 16.
The Trail Blazers executed their defense-first clock management game plan to a tee and beat Frenship 49-42 in Andrews, TX.
For longtime Americas Coach Mike Brooks, it's his first ever trip to the Round of 16 after three previous tries in the Round of 32 (2010, 2011, 2017).
"To get there and finally get over the hump, so to speak," said Brooks after the game. "It's pretty nice. Special group of kids."
Americas advances to play Dallas Jesuit this Tuesday. Brooks told ABC-7 that the game will most likely be played in the Midland-Odessa area to accomodate both schools.
Back in the Borderland, Chapin showed once and for all why they were the best team in the city.
Playing at Fabens High School, the Huskies raced out to an 18-2 lead over the Indians and never looked back.
Senior Manny Flores was 6-6 from the field in the first half, and Chapin led 40-12 at the break eliminating all hope lying with Ysleta.
Chapin moves on to the 5A Regional Semifinal against 12th-ranked Mansifeld Summit. The teams will play at 3:30 MT on Tuesday at Andrews.
The Huskies have to feel confident behind super-sophomore KJ Lewis, a Top-25 ranked national recruit in his class. Ysleta just did not have an answer for Lewis, whether he driving or distributing.
The loss ends a season for Ysleta that some might consider their best of all time. The Indians had just upset 25th-ranked Canyon Randall in the Area Championship round.
ABC-7 will have complete coverage of the Regional Semifinals this Tuesday, with Nate Ryan on the ground in the Permian Basin.