SOC win sets up rematch with Dallas Kimball

GARLAND, Texas -- Dallas Kimball will get a third shot at South Oak Cliff.

Just after Kimball secured its spot in the region finals with a win over Manor, South Oak Cliff easily disposed of West Mesquite, 72-53, on Friday at the Garland Special Events Center.

South Oak Cliff and Kimball meet at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Class 4A Region II finals.

"It's hard to beat a team three times," said South Oak Cliff head coach James Mays. "Just like they're going to be hungry, we're going to have to be just as hungry in order to get out tomorrow."

Depth was key for South Oak Cliff (30-7). West Mesquite (28-8) kept pace with the Golden Bears through two quarters and trailed just 31-30 at the half.

But while West Mesquite's bench withered, South Oak Cliff's flourished. Using its up-tempo offense, the Golden Bears wore down the Wranglers' substitutes to methodically pull away for the win.

Midway through the third quarter, South Oak Cliff went on a 10-3 run, capped by seven consecutive points by Bryan Umoru, who finished with a team-high 18 points.

Just before the end of the third, South Oak Cliff began a 15-4 run that gave the Golden Bears a commanding lead midway through the fourth. With a tired bench, West Mesquite never recovered.

"They started wearing down in the second half," Mays said. "That's the biggest thing that stood out when we were doing our work scouting is that they didn't have as much relief off the bench. We tried to be judicious in our rotations in the first half with our bench. It helped us for later on in the game."

South Oak Cliff beat Kimball, the defending 4A state champions, twice in the regular season. The Golden Bears captured the District 11-4A championship by virtue of those two wins.

Both teams are coming off games in which bench play and a strong third quarter led to blowout wins, setting up a game that has the potential to be an instant classic.

"Our depth has really been keeping us in games," Mays said. "We trust our starting five. We feel like we have a good of five as anybody in the area, but the depth is key. They have to put in quality minutes."