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Boys Basketball Rides Late Season Momentum into Playoffs

Junior+Eric+Weeks+hits+a+buzzer-beater+to+beat+Connally+on+Feb.+7+at+the+Timberdome
Junior Eric Weeks hits a buzzer-beater to beat Connally on Feb. 7 at the Timberdome

Junior Eric Weeks hits a buzzer-beater to beat Connally on Feb. 7 at the Timberdome

CPHS Yearbook Staff

CPHS Yearbook Staff

Junior Eric Weeks hits a buzzer-beater to beat Connally on Feb. 7 at the Timberdome

Nick Hedges, Reporter

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Flying high after a rollercoaster of a season which came down to the final regular season game, the basketball team is looking to ride a recent wave of momentum into the playoffs. After seemingly ending any playoff hopes by losing three late-season district games in a row, the Timberwolves faced a trek up Everest in order to climb into the district’s top-four and into a postseason spot. Led by coach Blake Brown, the Wolves somehow found a way to summit the mountain, winning their final three games to clinch a coveted first-round spot.

“I was confident that we would win out,” junior Tanner Radke said going into the final three games. “I knew that, in order to do that, we had to take it one game at a time.”

Following deep playoff runs the last two seasons, Cedar Park came into the season with high expectations. After besting Hays in the season opener, the Wolves progressed into the heart of the season, highlighted by convincing early district wins over Bastrop and East View. Returning to non-district play in the LISD tournament, the Wolves played several tough games against quality opposition like Hendrickson and San Antonio Madison.

“We knew everyone was doubting us because [senior] Keaton Hervey had an injury and was sidelined for the season,” junior Eric Weeks said. “We wanted to play to our best ability and make the playoffs.”

Transitioning into full-time district play, the Wolves won four of their first six games after the tournament, highlighted by a key win over district contender Elgin. The rollercoaster launched into its full twist-and-turn mode, as Cedar Park suffered those three dagger defeats to Rouse, Cedar Creek and Georgetown. At that point, the Wolves were essentially dropped from playoff contention, falling to 7-6 in district play. However, the team never felt they were out of it.

“We were looking to go in confident,” senior Ryan Spyker said. “We knew that we were going to have to play hard and aggressive. We knew that we could win, but couldn’t play scared.

Heading into a must-win match-up against Connally, the team rallied and were determined to stop their downhill slide. That night at the Timberdome, the Wolves looked sure to drop out of contention, only until Weeks hit a buzzer-beater from the just inside the paint to edge Cedar Park past the visiting Cougars. The win propelled the team upward, somehow back into the conversation. The Wolves, seeming to be destined for the postseason, ran past Hutto and improbably beat then-fourth-place Elgin, to set-up a tiebreak for the last playoff spot. The Timberwolves were in, topping the Wildcats in the standings thanks to a head-to-head sweep.

Thanks to those late-season heroics, Cedar Park now faces another Everest: the playoffs. Their first-round match-up pits them against Brenham. The Cubs, boasting a 20-12 record and a championship in district 20-5A, will be a tough test for the Timberwolves, but this bunch is no stranger to stiff tests and tall mountains to climb. The Bi-District affair will tip-off at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at Rockdale High School.

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The student newspaper and broadcast of Cedar Park High School
Boys Basketball Rides Late Season Momentum into Playoffs