The Final Play.

By: Libby Sanchez

The Pleasanton Eagles Boys Basketball team has been hard at work this month, pushing their limits into the playoffs. On February 3rd, the boys traveled to Floresville to play the Tigers in one of their last few district games. For the second time this season, they beat the Tigers by a final score of 57-41. A few days later on February 7th, they hosted Uvalde on their home court and won once again with a score of 84-53. For the last and final district game of the 2022-2023 season, Carrizo Springs traveled to us and had a disappointing bus ride back home when they lost 91-51. Varsity ended district with a 11-1 record, placing them second in our district. The Eagles were well on their way to the playoffs, and the team that consists of mostly seniors was determined to make their last one, the best one. “We’ve been here all four years of my highschool career but the excitement never goes away. Being there with guys I’ve known since I was really little made me stop and take it all in, more than I’ve done in the past,” said Layne Dowdy, senior.

For the first round of playoffs, the Eagles traveled to Kennedy High School Gym to play against the Ingleside Mustangs on February 21st. At the end of the first quarter of the Bi-District matchup, the Eagles were short to Ingleside 15-13. Max Sauceda didn’t let this slide for long, and tied the game in the second quarter, making the score 26-26 with only a few minutes left before half time. Trey Martinez then got hold of the ball and sank a 3 pointer at the buzzer to officially give the Eagles the lead in the game, sending the score 31-30 into half time. Picking up their game up into the third and fourth quarter, the Eagles ended the game as Bi-District Champions with a final score of 68-60 over Ingleside.  An intense and well fought game, sending the boys well into the second round of playoffs. Jake Casias, a four year varsity player, surpassed 1,000 career points in this game, an accomplishment not taken lightly in this sport. 

Round two of the playoffs took place on our home court, and the gym was loaded with lots of green and Eagle Pride! The boys were set to play the Calallen Wildcats on February 24th and they were just as amped up, if not more, than their previous game. Luke Thornton got a hold of the ball early on and started the Eagle’s game off on a good note with his point. Throughout the first quarter, Luke had collected 6 rebounds, while RJ Marquez led the Eagles with nine points of his own. Going into the second quarter the Eagles and Wildcats were neck and neck with a score of 15-14, the Eagles barely leading. Second quarter went by in a breeze for our boys as RJ Marquez sank one 3 pointer after another, leaving the score 33-21 in the Eagle’s favor. Third and fourth quarters flew by as the Eagles continued to dominate, sending them onto round three with a final score of 55-42 and earning their title as Area Champions. Luke Thornton was recognized for his amazing game where he finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds. 

Just like that, the Eagles were round three bound and they had every campus supporting their send off from Pleasanton to Cuero where they would play the Sinton Pirates on February 28th. Early in the game, the Eagles jumped at the chance to take the lead in the first quarter, and secured it 20-10. Come the second quarter, the Pirates had also stepped up their game, but the eagles were determined to keep their lead up by a few points. The score between the Eagles and Pirates was 34-25 going into halftime. Both teams fought hard well into the third and fourth quarter, but once again our boys came out on top with a score of 62-52, this time as Regional Quarterfinal Champions! This win was sending them straight to the Regional Tournament!

The Regional Tournament took place at Steinke Center at Texas A&M Kingsville on March 3rd. The Eagles record was now 31-6, and they were up against another tough team, the Stafford Spartans, whose record was 30-7. Round four for both teams, and the thrill could be felt in the gym. Both sides were packed with team spirit and encouragement. The first quarter they kept it close, and the Eagles knew this was gonna be their toughest match yet, so they gave it their all. The quarter ended 5-6 in Stafford’s favor. The Eagles began to trail the Spartants at the end of second and third quarter with a score of 19-34. Unfortunately, after fighting hard all season and investing four years into this program, the basketball season for the 2022-2023 Pleasanton Eagle’s came to an end after losing to Stafford with a final score of 25-50. Though a majority of the team is graduating this year, the future of this program looks beyond bright. Senior, Layne Dowdy, leaves the future players of the Pleasanton Eagle’s Basketball Team with these words of advice, “Take it all in. There’s going to be good and bad moments but they’re all learning experiences. It’s bittersweet to be leaving the program, but I’m so thankful for every memory. Cherish it.” The PHS Journalism staff looks forward to writing about next year’s season, and we thank this year’s team for giving us the opportunity to write about such a great run!

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