LaPoynor Basketball 2022-2023

2022-2023 LaPoynor Flyers — State 2A Runnerup

— LISD Courtesy Photo


    Lipan wins 50-46 in last seconds

    effort despite Flyers comeback

The 19-2A Champion LaPoynor Flyers basketball team came within seconds of turning a stunning comeback into an upset of the No. 1 ranked Lipan Indians Saturday, March 11 in the Class 2A State finals, but timely shots fell for the Indians in the waning seconds to gain them a 50-46 victory at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Flyers Dijuan Whitehead and Cooper Gracey were honored by being named to the All Tournament team.

Flyers Coach Jim Reid remembered vividly what happened in the final minutes of the game.



19-2A Coach of Year 

The Flyers, ranked No. 2, had trailed 32-19 at halftime, but they came back in the second half to outscore Lipan 27-18 tying the score at 39-39 halfway in the fourth quarter and going ahead 41-39 on successive field goals by Mann Scott, a three-pointer and one from inside, to lead the Indians.

A Lipan free throw narrowed the lead to 41-40 but Flyers Post Dijuan Whitehead scored inside to give LaPoynor a 43-40 lead.

Lipan senior point guard Garrett Smith (23), who had scored only once since getting 11 points in the first quarter, sank a three-point basket to tie things at 43-43.

Mann Scott kept the Flyers’ hopes alive with a three-point play, a basket and a free throw, to restore a 46-43 lead. Then a couple of Lipan free throws narrowed the Flyers lead to 46-45. That would be the score with under a minute left.

Both teams utilized numerous times out during the coming seconds, each to counter the other’s strategies and game turns.

The tide turned when Lipan’s Garrett Smith contributed the unanswered points leading to the Indians’ win. First he sank a two-point goal to give his team the lead 47-46. Then he dropped in a free throw and later two more to give Lipan their four-point win and the 2A State Championship.

In the first half, things looked grim for the Flyers as Lipan took the first quarter 21-10, with Garrett Smith leading the way. Things were closer in the second period as Lipan had only an 11-9 edge to lead by 13 at the intermission.

In the third quarter, the Flyers were able to hold the Indians to only 6 points while scoring 14 on two-points baskets, led by Cooper Gracey and Dijuan Whitehead.

The Flyers had a 13-12 edge in the fourth quarter as Whitehead got help from Mann Scott, but in the waning seconds the Flyers could not score while Lipan, led by Garrett Smith, prevailed.

Whitehead led the Flyers in scoring with 15 points, 6 of 10 inside and a three-point goal. Gracey had 14 points on 7 of 13 near the basket. Mann Scott sank a three-pointer and 4 of 10 inside along with a free throw for 10 points. Evan Almeida had 5 points on 2 of 6 near the goal and 1 of 1 at the line. Cort Reid was 2 of 2 in free throw for 2 points.

For Lipan, Smith led with 21, three 3-pointers and 3 inside and 6 of 6 at the free throw line.

Flyers Whitehead and Gracey each had 7 rebounds. Whitehead also had a steal and Gracey had 4 assists and 2 steals. Almeida had 4 rebounds, an assist, a block and a steal. Mann Scott had two rebound, an assist, a block and a steal. Reid had two rebounds and an assist. Matt Driskell had 2 rebounds.

Lipan had a total of 30 rebounds, 9 assists, a block and 5 steals.

The Flyers finished the season with a 33-7 record and Lipan had a 37-1 finish.

Flyers to play for State 2A title

after 66-43 win over Flatonia

The LaPoynor Flyers are in the State Class 2A finals again thanks to their impressive 66-43 victory over Flatonia Friday morning, March 10 in the Alamodome in San Antonio.

The 33-7 Flyers will be matched with the No. 1 rated Lipan Indians in a showdown Saturday, March 11 at 1:30 p.m. at the Alamodome.

Lipan (35-1) defeated New Home (25-8) earlier on Friday 52-44 in their State Semifinals game.

The LaPoynor boys earned the right to advance by defeating Flatonia in every quarter, starting with a competitive 10-7 first quarter advantage but then paving the way to a 35-18 lead at halftime with a 25-11 second quarter.

The Indians had a big deficit to fill in the second half, but the Flyers captured the third quarter 12-11 to go into the fourth period with 47-29 lead. The Flyers secured their victory with a 19-14 fourth quarter.

Cooper Gracey and Evan Almeida teamed up to lead the Flyers with 14 points each. Almeida sank 7 of 13 goals near the basket and Gracey had 6 of 12 and a perfect 2 of 2 trip to the free throw line. The Flyers post Dijuan Whitehead sank a three-point basket and scored 4 of 9 inside plus a free throw for 12 points. Cort Reid scored 8 points, hitting a three-pointer and a shot inside the paint and going 3 of 4 at the line. Matt Driskell had two three-point baskets for 6 points. Mann Scott had a three-pointer and sank one in the paint for 5 points. Zade Howard scored on a three-point goal. Daniel Scott and Jackson Young each sank two-pointers, Scott under the basket and Young just inside the paint near the goal.

Whitehead led with 12 rebounds, all defensive, along with 2 assists, a block and a steal. Gracey had 10 rebounds and had 3 assists, 2 blocks and 3 steals. Evan Almeida also had 10 rebounds but also had 5 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals. Reid had 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. Driskell had 3 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. Daniel Scott and Mann Scott each had 2 rebounds. Payton Parker, Casey Ruiz and Zade Howard each had an assist. Jackson Young had a steal.

Flyers down Martins Mill 53-43

to earn Region title, trip to State

The LaPoynor Flyers earned a trip to the State Class 2A Championship Tournament Saturday, March 4 with a victory over their District 19-2A rival Martins Mill 53-43 at the Region III Tournament Finals in Athens, according to a report from Flyers Coach Jim Reid.

The Region III, District 19 first seeded Flyers (32-7,10-0) will journey to the State Tournament on Friday and Saturday, March 10-11 at the Alamodome in San Antonio. They are scheduled to play Region IV Champion Flatonia (34-4, 11-1) in the State Semifinals at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 10. Region I Champion New Home (25-7, 11-0) will play Region II Champion Lipan (34-1, 12-0) at 8:30 a.m. earlier in the day.

The Flyers and the Martins Mill Mustangs, who had met twice in District 19-2A play with the Mustangs losing both times, punctuated their rivalry with another competitive basketball game. The Flyers came onto the court in the second half and outscored the Mustangs 29-19 after the two teams were tied at halftime 24-24. In that competitive first half, the Mustangs had edged the Flyers 11-10 in the initial quarter but the LaPoynor boys came right back to edge the Mustangs 14-13 in the second period.  At the final buzzer the Flyers had a 10-point win and a Regional Championship trophy.

Flyers Post Dijuan Whitehead scored a season high 25 points at or near the basket, hitting 11 of 15 of his shots and dropping in 3 of 5 free throws. Evan Almeida added to his playoff performance by hitting 4 of 5 up close to the goal and sinking 2 of 2 free throws for 10 points. Matt Driskell added 7 points on 3 of 5 near the basket and 1 of 1 at the line. Cooper Gracey was perfect near the basket, hitting 3 of 3 for 6 points. Mann Scott had only one two-point goal but was 3 of 4 in free throws for 5 points.

Significantly, the Flyers scored the “old-fashioned” way, without a single three-point basket, although they tried six times.

Whitehead not only led scorers, he also led in rebounds with 9 and had 2 assists as well. Gracey pulled down 6 rebounds, all defensive, and added 5 assists, and a steal. Cort Reid contributed 5 rebounds to go with 5 assists and a steal. Almeida had 4 rebounds, a block and 4 steals. Mann Scott had 3 rebounds and an assist. Driskell had a rebound and 5 assists. Jackson Young and Daniel Scott each had one rebound. 

Flyers top Timpson 68-57 to meet

Martins Mill in Region III Finals 

The LaPoynor Flyers and the Martins Mills Mustangs will square off on Saturday, March 4 at 1 p.m. in the Class 2A Region III Finals after the two District 19-2A top teams won their Semifinals games at the Athens Tournament Friday night, March 3, according to a report by Flyers Coach Jim Reid.

The top-seeded Flyers earned the right to advance to the finals with a 68-57 win over District 23-2A top seed, Timpson, in the opener of the night. The Flyers had to wait for the nightcap between Martins Mill and Beckville before they were sure they would play Martins Mill, who took a 47-36 win over the 23-2A runnerup Beckville.

The Regional finals will be the third meeting for the Flyers and the Mustangs, the second seed from 19-2A.

The Flyers put together two big quarters against the Timpson Bears in their 6 p.m. meeting on Friday night. LaPoynor led 21-14 in the first quarter but were edged 19-17 in the second period and the Flyers led 38-33 at halftime. Timpson staged a 15-6 comeback in the third quarter to take the lead 48-44, going into the fourth quarter. However, the Flyers found the range of the basket in the fourth quarter to outscore the Bears 24-9 to surge to their 11-point win.

Four Flyers players scored in double figures to key the victory. Cooper Gracey sank 20 points to lead on a three-point basket, 6 of 9 at or near the paint and 5 of 7 from the free throw line. Flyers Post Dijuan Whitehead sank 8 of 9 up close and a free throw for 17 points. Evan Almeida hit 6 of 12 in or near the paint plus a three-pointer and a free throw for 16 points. Mann Scott hit 5 of 5 inside for 10 points. Matt Driskell had 3 points on a basket in the paint and a free throw. Cort Reid sank a couple of free throws for 2 points.

Gracey pulled down 13 rebounds and had 5 assists and a steal. Almeida had 13 rebounds, 2 assists, a block and a steal. Whitehead had 7 rebounds, 2 assists, a block and a steal. Reid had 2 rebounds and 3 assists. Driskell had a rebound, 10 assists, a block and a steal. Mann Scott had a rebound, an assist and a steal. Daniel Scott had a rebound. 

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