<
>

SGP starts fast, hangs on against Plano West

DALLAS -- South Grand Prairie caught fire early and survived a furious comeback to beat Plano West 63-53 in a playoff game at American Airlines Center on Saturday night.

Jayrn Johnson scored eight of his 18 points in the first few minutes to help the Warriors jump out to a 17-9 lead after the first quarter.

"Johnson came out really hot," Warriors head coach Brandon Bennett said, "and that got our team to want to move and create the pace we wanted to create."

Johnson said he wanted to build off his play Saturday and to raise it to another level.

"I want to try to take [my momentum] up higher," Johnson said.

South Grand Prairie padded its lead with a 13-0 run in the second quarter to go up 33-17 heading into the locker room.

The Warriors continued to dominate and went into the final quarter up 50-29, but Plano West wasn't about to quit. The Wolves battled the whole fourth quarter to get within 57-49 with a minute left.

South Grand Prairie hit seven of its last eight free throws down the stretch to keep Plano West from finishing off a comeback.

"The thing we need to get better at is closing games out," Bennett said. "I knew [Plano West] wouldn't quit, they're a good basketball team."

Ben Emelogu had 15 points and Rick Curry added 10 for South Grand Prairie. UTEP commit Chris Washburn scored seven of his nine points in the fourth quarter.

TJ Cline scored a game-high 25 points for the Wolves before fouling out with 13 seconds left.

South Grand Prairie plays the winner of Lewisville Hebron and Cedar Hill in a Region 1 quarterfinal.