Hico boys 50, De Leon 34

At six feet, four inches, Michael Warren stands tall next to just about anyone in area 2A basketball. He stood especially tall Thursday morning when he amassed 23 points to lead Hico (10-1) to a 50-34 win against De Leon in the opening round of tournament play in Lingleville.

“It was never all that pretty,” Hico head head coach Drew Coughlin said of his team’s 10th win. “We executed our zone offense a little better in the second half and our big guy (Warren) dominated inside.”

Other scorers for Hico included Dylan Turner (8), Drew Polk (8), Coley Howell (5), Garrett Glocar (2), Tony Tubiartes (2), Philip Garza (1) and Grant Johnson (1).

Hico advances to the semifinals for a 1 p.m. rematch with Dublin today. The first meeting between the area teams was a thriller that Hico won in double overtime.

Hico girls 68, Huckabay 45

It took most of the game for Hico (12-1) to gather its senses, but once the Lady Tigers were wide awake they rolled past Huckabay (10-3) 68-45 in the opening round of girls tournament play in Lingleville Thursday morning.

“It was a typical 8:30 a.m. game. Both teams were very sluggish,” Hico head coach Larry Holder said. “We didn’t really play well until the fourth quarter.”

The Lady Tigers rolled up 21 points in the fourth quarter as part of a big second half when they outscored Huckabay 41-18 after being tied 27-27 at the break.

Cara Finstad continues to put up big numbers. The senior guard had 22 points, while junior Cassi Stegall netted 14, senior Cristina Sanchez added 11 and freshman Stacey Underwood scored 10.

Behind the double-digit scorers were Tristan Till with three points and Roxana Rocha and Claudia Zuniga with two each.

Hico meets Dublin in the tournament semifinals at 11:30 a.m. today. The game is a rematch of a Hico win at Dublin on Nov. 23.

Dublin girls 51, Strawn 22

Dublin (7-4) held Strawn to just seven second-half points and pulled away for a 51-22 win in the opening round of tournament play at Lingleville Thursday.

The Lady Lions advance to the second round to meet Hico in a rematch of a game Dublin lost on Nov. 23.

The Lady Lions featured a balanced scoring attack on Thursday with Kim Ramos (12), Kim Spivey (10) and Bethanie Young (10) leading the way. Cayla Beck added eight, Wakely Brown tallied six and Kendra Cannon chipped in with five.

“We had them out-manned and dominated the rebounds,” Dublin coach Randy Parks said.

It was 24-15 at halftime before the Lady Lions blew it open with a 27-7 advantage in the third and fourth quarters.

Parks said the main task for his team against Hico will be remaining composed.

“We have to take care of the ball and not get ahead of ourselves or panic,” he said. “We played them well last time but they got hot in the second half.”

The Lady Lions and Lady Tigers play at 11:30 a.m. today.

Dublin boys 54, Santo 31

Nobody could blame Dublin head boys basketball coach Richard Pringle for feeling somewhat nostalgic these days.

On Thursday, his Lions defeated Santo - where he was once head coach - 54-31. That victory earns him a rematch with Hico - another school he served as head coach before coming to Dublin.

The Hico game comes as a curtain call after the area rivals battled through two overtimes in a Hico win on Nov. 23. Today’s 1 p.m. battle comes in the semifinal round of tournament play in Lingleville.

The first round game against Santo was a breeze for the Lions, thanks to their strong defensive play.

“We’re playing pretty well defensively but we are not shooting the ball like we are capable of,” Pringle said. “We are struggling from the three-point line, but hopefully we can get that going (today).”

Dublin was led in the opening round by Hunter Turner with 21 points. Jakob Damstra scored 10, Jesse Bamber tallied seven and Brandon Zuniga added six.