By: Will Jacobs
Last Friday, the Plainview Bears faced off against the Hillcrest of Evergreen Jaguars in the Class 3A Boys State Championship game. This would be the fourth time that the Bears played in the State Finals in school history. The Bears played in the State Finals in 1978, 1979, and 2017 finishing in second place all three times. A win for Plainview would be the first state championship trophy in school history.
The first quarter for Plainview was a great offensive quarter. They jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, but the Jaguars quickly tied things up. A 12-4 run by Plainview would give them the edge in the quarter. By the end of the first quarter, Plainview led 19-11.
Plainview continued to stay hot in the second quarter. The Bears would extend their lead to 13 points two times in the quarter, but the Jaguars would quickly cut into the lead. At the end of the second quarter, Plainview lead 35-25.
The third quarter was when Plainview really started to struggle on offense. They would only score nine points this quarter, and the Jaguars would take advantage of Plainview’s lack of scoring. At the end of the third quarter, Hillcrest of Evergreen led 47-44.
The fourth quarter was an offensive battle for both teams. Neither team held on to the lead for long, and the game stayed tied up for a majority of the quarter. With 38 seconds left, the game was still tied up, and Plainview had the ball waiting for the last shot. Jeffery Armstrong would drive into the lane and pass the ball to Bailey Dukes for the last shot. Dukes’ layup attempt was no good, and the game was sent into overtime tied at 66.
Overtime was another offensive battle for both teams. Again, neither team could hold the lead for long, and the game was tied at 75 with time running out. Plainview had the ball again as time was winding down, and with 8 seconds left, Armstrong began to drive into the lane. His successful drive would draw the defense in, and then he kicked the ball out to Millican who was wide open in the corner for a three-point shot. The ball went through the net as time ran out, and Plainview, after official review, was declared the 3A State Champions for the first time in school history by defeating Hillcrest of Evergreen 78-75.
Caden Millican and Jeffery Armstrong were the key players for the Bears. Millican led the team in scoring with 37 points. Armstrong scored 18 points and led the team with 8 rebounds. Armstrong, Cade Willingham, and Millican made the all-tournament team with Millican winning the Most Valuable Player Award.