The boys’ varsity basketball team of TMI – The Episcopal School of Texas went undefeated in five straight games to take the Pearsall Maverick Classic Tournament, held Dec. 6-8 in Pearsall High School, and they did it without any big men.
“Although we were one of the smallest teams in the tournament, the boys keep fighting for victories,” said Head Coach Bob Pels. The Panthers’ play was marked by balanced scoring, as freshman star LeSean Brown and some of his teammate got past their private- and public-school defenders to put up double-digit points in each game.
TMI bested Natalia High School 62-50 in the first game, with senior Garrett Notzon shooting five of five from the field for 13 points, while Brown made another 13 and junior Travis Haiduk got 12. Against Pleasanton, TMI finished 66-61 with Brown’s 20 points, sophomore Nelson Black posted 17, junior JT Plummer put up 13 and Haiduk 12.
The Panthers pushed past the host Mavericks 68-50, helped by Brown’s tournament high of 24 points and Black’s 16. Junior Steele Sessions aided by grabbing six rebounds, blocking one shot and collecting one steal. In the quarter-finals, TMI survived a slowdown game by Holy Cross Catholic High School and vanquished the Knights 37-24, thanks to a patient defense and dependable scoring by Brown, 16, and Plummer, 14.
TMI clinched the championship in the final game against Poth, winning 52-49, with Brown scoring 24 points to lead the team to its second championship this season, after the Marlin Classic in Port Aransas last month.
Brown was named tournament MVP, and Black made the all-tournament team.
“We continue to be excited about the determination all of the players have shown in these games, especially in clutch situations,” said TMI Head Basketball Coach Robert Pels. “The victories have really been about teamwork and hard work.”