History made on Houston hardwoods

The Klein Forest Golden Eagles made an historic run to the Class 6A state tournament finals.

Originally Appeared on VYPE

WHILE HOUSTON DIDN'T WIN A PUBLIC SCHOOL HOOP TITLE, THERE WERE SOMEHISTORIC MOMENTS ON THE HARDWOOD.

The Klein Forest Golden Eagles made an historic run to the Class 6A state tournament finals. Coach Cary Black had a group of seniors who bought into his program and bonded together for one last run.

Kharee McDaniel earned the Guy V. Lewis Award as the city's top player, running his squad from the point-guard position. Calvin Solomon was the hottest player
in the postseason as the 6-foot-7 hybrid shut down opposing teams' top players and scored from the inside and out.

The Eagles fell short in the finals to Duncanville, but their legacy has been cast as one of the top programs in the city of Houston for their long-time consistency.

North Shore played some blue- collar basketball, living up to their #Eastside-tough mantra. Coach Sam Benitez pushed all the right buttons in his first season for the Mustangs, leading them to the state tournament semis from Region III. Keiman Capers, Bruce Scott and Jalen Means were the headliners, but it was a team built on the pillars of a stingy defense and a relentless effort on offense. It wasn't always pretty but North Shore grinded their way to the state Final Four.

The Jack Yates Lions are a state power under the direction of coach Greg Wise. The "Third-Ward High" squad played their usual game of relentless pressing and fast-breaking offense to throttle opponents to the state semis. Antwon Norman and JoQuarius Valrie led the way for the pride.

In the private school ranks, Houston Christian defended their Southwest Preparatory Conference title from a year ago as highly- coveted Sahvir Wheeler got healthy at the right time to push the Mustangs to the title.


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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF O'BRIEN'S COACHING

Not my job: Texans no match for the Ravens

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

The Texans fell to the Ravens 33-16 in a game they had a shot at winning. Most of you reading this will probably think I'm crazy for saying that. I assure you, I meant what I said. One of the reasons they didn't was because Bill O'Brien made a few questionable decisions that cost this team.

The first was the 4th & 1 decision. Deciding to go for it was bad enough. They were down 3-0 near the end of the first quarter with the ball on their own 34-yard line. This is not a situation that calls for a gamble or statement play. The play call itself was okay I guess: a play action bootleg with two short options. It was read and played perfectly by the Ravens defense. Deshaun Watson had nowhere to go with the ball and had to throw it at Darren Fells' back before getting sacked. That led to a quick Ravens touchdown and an early 10-0 deficit. I seriously think he has PTSD after that playoff loss to the Chiefs when it comes to fourth down calls. Bumbling Bill strikes again!

When they got the ball back, they scored a touchdown thanks to more play action passes and pre-snap motion. It was as if Bumbling Bill realized his offensive line was outmatched by the front seven they're opposing. Sure Watson is mobile and looks like a magician escaping sacks, but misdirection helps throw the defense off and keeps Watson from breaking into 177,000,000 pieces. Oh, and the quick reads were a good idea as well. Too bad Bumbling Bill went away from that and opted for longer developing routes. Or will he blame it on Timid Tim Kelly? Or was Waiting Watson holding onto the ball too long? I blame all three.

Also, can we stop starting drives with the predictable run, run, pass combo please? First down should be play action rollout with Watson having the ability to choose to run if it's there. More run/pass/option plays need to be called as well. Incorporate more things that we saw when Watson was on his way to winning rookie of the year before his knee was sacrificed for the Astros.

Credit where it's due: the end of the first half to get a field goal with a minute and change left was good to see. Typically, these situations tend to make Bumbling Bill come out. I liked the quick slant to Cobb with no timeouts. They were able to spike the ball and get the field goal up.

The game was still within reach at 23-13 in the beginning of the fourth quarter. On a 4th & 1, they gave up a 30 yard touchdown run on a direct snap to Mark Ingram. I saw gaps on both sides of the defensive line pre-snap. Sure enough, Ingram got a lead block from the Ravens human plough of a fullback and that effectively put the nail in the coffin at 30-13. I know the tendency is to quarterback sneak or run up the middle, but don't leave gaps along the defensive line trying to stack the middle. First time defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver will take the L on this one.

Overall, I'll give O'Brien and his coaching staff a C- this game. Mistakes were made that could've cost them a legit shot at winning, but the Keke Coutee fumble return for a touchdown wasn't their fault. The play calling menu was brought to us this week by Craft Pita via the "What's Eric Eating" podcast. Tune in next week for another "Not my job!"

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