SNYDER — Jacob Stuckey and the Burleson Centennial Spartans dominated the fourth quarter vs. El Paso Eastwood for a 65-47 win Friday night at Western Texas College to advance to the Class 5A Region I Final.
The No. 15-ranked Spartans (32-6) outscored Eastwood, 26-11, in the fourth quarter, including four 3's from Stuckey, to set up an all-District 5-5A showdown in Saturday's regional final as Burleson Centennial will meet Mansfield Timberview for the third time this season.
In Friday's regional semifinal win over Eastwood, the Spartans jumped out to a 10-0 lead over the Troopers. However, Eastwood climbed back into the game as it closed the first half on a 10-1 run to make it a 27-25 Spartan lead at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Troopers continued their run by scoring the first two buckets of the second half to take a 29-27 lead, their first of the night.
After Centennial scored to tie it, the Spartans got a stop and then Stuckey caught fire, hitting a 3 at the top of the key off an inbounds pass for a 32-29 lead. While the Spartans would maintain that lead, Eastwood battled to keep it close the rest of the third quarter as Centennial's lead at the end of three was just 39-36.
But in the fourth, the Troopers just couldn't hang with Stuckey and the Spartans.
After a Tayton Conerway old-fashioned three-point play gave Centennial a 42-37 lead, the Spartans started to pull away when Stuckey hit a 3-pointer for a 45-37 advantage.
Following an Eastwood 3 of its own, Stuckey buried another 3 to reclaim an eight-point lead at 48-40.
Centennial added to its lead as Stuckey's 3-point barrage continued, giving the Spartans an insurmountable 59-45 advantage in the final couple minutes, their largest lead of the night.
Stuckey finished with 23 points on 7-of-9 from beyond the arc to lead the Spartans. Conerway filled the stat sheet with 15 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, and three steals while Zach Bolf and Keryn Collins added 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Centennial and Timberview, the defending Class 5A state champion, are scheduled for a 2 p.m. tipoff Saturday with the winner moving on to the UIL state tournament next week in San Antonio.
The Spartans swept the season series from the Wolves with wins of 75-65 on Jan. 11 and 73-67 on Feb. 4 en route to Centennial's first-ever district championship.