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Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

Cardinals continue magical playoff run

The varsity men’s basketball team wins round three
Ariel Lagnado
Junior Shelton Henderson flies in for a fast-break dunk.

In a dramatic 39-38 victory, the Cardinals beat Katy Jordan in revenge for their bitter ending to the 2022-23 season. One year ago, on this same court against the same opponent, the Cardinals’ season ended earlier than expected. But now, round three of the playoffs served as a stepping stone towards their pursuit of a state championship.

When the Cardinals found out they had been matched up against Katy Jordan in round three, it added extra incentive to get a victory.

“It felt so good to win this game,” junior guard Ejypt Gibbs said. “I was looking forward to this game as soon as I saw them on the schedule. It is just a blessing to come back and beat them the same way they beat us last year.”

Even with the added motivation, both teams got off to slow starts in the first half. Neither team could get a rhythm, and the Cardinals suffered multiple turnovers that Katy Jordan was able to convert into points. Junior center LJ “Anthony” Andrews suffered an ankle injury during the first half, forcing the Cardinals to pivot from their original game plan. Despite the injury, the Cardinals were able to hang onto a 21-18 lead into halftime.

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Junior LJ Andrews barrels into the paint during the first half. Andrews suffered an injury during the first half, limiting him to only three points throughout the game. (Ariel Lagnado )

“With LJ’s injury, we had to find other ways to score and still be efficient with the ball throughout the game,” Gibbs said.

It was not only Andrews who was facing injury trouble, as Gibbs was also dealt with an ankle injury that he had suffered in the Cardinals’ previous game against Fort Bend Travis.

“I would say the whole game I was around 75 to 80 percent,” Gibbs said, “I tried to do the best I could to stay in front of the ball and lock people up like I normally would and get the job done.”

Throughout the second half, both teams traded buckets and the Cardinals were only able to keep a one-possession lead. With less than five seconds left on the clock, Katy Jordan was down one and fouled junior guard Shelton Henderson. Even though he was unable to make either foul shots, he finished with a game-sealing steal.

Junior Shelton Henderson knocks back defenders as he attacks the rim. Henderson led the team with 22 points. (Rohan Parikh )

“When I missed the free throws, I just had to move on,” Henderson said, “Getting that steal felt so good on defense, knowing I closed the game.”

The Cardinals are now looking towards round four against regular season opponents Clear Springs on Friday, Feb. 30.

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