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Farmers' Harvest

The school news site of Lewisville High School

Farmers' Harvest

The school news site of Lewisville High School

Farmers' Harvest

Clash against Keller

Boys varsity basketball cruises to regional semis
Brianna Rodriguez
Senior Rakai Crawford (2) goes for a layup at the game against Coppell on Jan. 23.

Jesuit knocks down a near full-court heave at the buzzer. The student section erupts and crowds the shooter, jumping up and down for the man of the moment. That second quarter exclamation point would be the last of the Rangers’ celebrations for the night.

“We felt like that was one of their better possessions in the first half because of our pressure,” head coach Toby Martin said. “We were pretty excited because we knew that if that’s what they’re relying on, it’s going to be a long night for them.”

The Farmers didn’t blink, taking their three point lead at half and riding to a 63-59 victory. The team plays Keller on Friday, March 1 at 6 p.m. for their first regional semifinal game since 2000.

“We really believe that we had the team and the roster to be a regional tournament qualifier,” Martin said. “It feels good to see all your work and what you’ve been planning come to fruition.”

Offensively, senior guards Landon Brown and Rakai Crawford led the way. Crawford scored 12 points in the first half, Brown poured in 12 more in the second. The team likes to flow through whoever has the hot hand.

“I started the game off pretty hot,” Crawford said. “Whenever he got going with his scoring, I knew to call more plays for him to get him more active with the ball.”

Brown specifically has looked to attack more in the playoffs. That extra intensity has earned him the nickname “Playoff LB” among the team.

“[Jesuit] couldn’t really stop me from getting to the paint,” Brown said. “Usually I just have to see a couple [shots,] go in and that’ll get me going.”

Throughout the playoffs, the Farmers have played in close games, winning by six, five and now four points. Their defense came up clutch this time around, forcing a game-sealing turnover with 15 seconds left.

“Our guys are battle tested,” Martin said. “We know if we remained with our pressure, we would win the war of attrition. Especially in the fourth quarter, you start[ed] to see some of their shooters, who were hitting shots earlier, have tired legs.”

Indians junior guard Steven Ramirez averages 19.6 points per game on 43% shooting from downtown, underscoring Keller’s emphasis on the three ball. The Farmers look to end Keller’s 15-game winning streak by taking away that area of their offense.

“[They run] a lot of off-ball screens,” Brown said. “We have to run them off the three-point line and play defense as a team.” 

Crawford, who suffered an ankle injury but will be ready for the game, said the team will attack offensively depending on the Indians’ defense, but may not change much from what the team has done throughout the playoffs. 

“If they’re just like Jesuit, then it’s going to be the same way,” Crawford said. “Outside shooting because they’re going to help defense and in transition, making sure we get down [the floor].”

If the team defeats Keller, they will have to play the next day at 1 p.m., but Martin said he “love[s]” the quick turnaround to whoever wins the Plano East vs. Eaton matchup. 

“I like it because after you win on Friday, there’s no lag time to let self doubt or anything creep into your mind,” Martin said. “We’re looking forward to having a third matchup with Plano East, but we can’t take our eye off the prize; it’s going to be a battle to get there.”

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