DALLAS -- After several years of middle of the road play, ESPN Dallas 4A No. 8 Dallas South Oak Cliff (19-6, 7-0) made a statement Saturday that the Bears basketball program is climbing back to the top.
South Oak Cliff edged defending 4A state champion and current 4A No. 1 Dallas Kimball (20-4, 6-1) in a battle of District 11-4A unbeatens, 69-66.
Kimball, a team that lives and dies by its shooting, hit a cold spell in the second half, allowing South Oak Cliff’s fast break offense to rack up runs throughout the third quarter.
South Oak Cliff caught up at the end of the third, 48-48, and outscored Kimball 21-18 in the fourth quarter to pull off the win.
Standout Keith Frazier was Kimball’s only form of consistent offense, finishing with 34 of Kimball’s 66 points. Frazier tallied all but four of Kimball’s fourth quarter points.
“[Frazier] got heated and we couldn’t do much with him, so we never slowed him down, but the other guys didn’t step up much,” South Oak Cliff coach James Mays said. “They kind of cooled off and fatigue set in on both sides.”
Frazier and teammate David Tucker began the game hot, hitting four 3-pointers in the first half.
In the second half, the shots stopped hitting, but Kimball’s players continued to do their coach’s bidding -- and just kept shooting.
Kimball was only able to manage 10 points in the third quarter, six of which came from Frazier’s hand.
Jamaal Robateau scored a team-high 18 points for South Oak, which included a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
The victory gives South Oak Cliff the district lead going into the second half of the season, which is exactly where the team expected to be at the beginning of the year.
“We felt like we were there anyway, so we came into the game with a lot of confidence,” Mays said. “We felt that way before we even came into the game. This game reinforces that confidence in their abilities and shows how good we can be night in and night out.”
For Kimball, losing is a bitter taste the Knights aren’t used to, but it’s a lesson they can use to finish district play as strong as possible.
“We haven’t dealt with adversity and we’re dealing with a little bit right now, but we have to just keep playing,” Kimball coach Royce Johnson said. “We win three games and we’re in the tournament, and that’s all we have to do. We still control our own destiny, so we’re alright.”