Controversial style is difference for Yates

AUSTIN, Texas -- The relentless and merciless style that's brought national criticism to Houston Yates delivered the team a second straight 4A state title on Saturday.

Trailing Lancaster by one point midway through the fourth quarter, Yates' full-court press sparked a 21-1 run that turned a nail-biter into a blowout in front of a UIL record 16,755 fans at UT's Erwin Center.

The 92-73 final score doesn't show how close Lancaster came to pulling off an enormous upset over the team ranked as No. 1 in the nation by some. For a team that's been accused of running up the score, Yates' ability to score in bunches paid off.

"I don't know if it's vindication because I really believe in what we do," said Yates coach Greg Wise. "It wouldn't have mattered what happened. Our guys believe in what we do, and you can tell by the way they play."

Lancaster (36-3) was positioned to pull off the upset after holding the lead through much of the third quarter. The teams jostled for the lead to open the fourth quarter before Lancaster took a 72-71 edge.

The Tigers scored a single point the rest of the game. Returning from the locker room after hitting his head on the court, Yates guard Joe Young hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put his team ahead. Meanwhile, Yates' press forced six straight Lancaster turnovers.

By the end of the flurry, the game was out of reach.

"I knew they was going to have a spurt," said Lancaster head coach Ferrin Douglas. "I just hoped we had the last spurt at the end of the game. They showed why they're No. 1 in the country."

Yates (34-0) jumped out to an early lead while Lancaster was adjusting to the press, but the Tigers kept the game within reach.

Yates took a 12-point lead midway through the second quarter, but an 8-1 run by Lancaster helped it close within four at halftime.

Lancaster dominated the third quarter and took a 51-50 lead with 4:46 remaining in the quarter. The Tigers held the lead until Yates' Brandon Peters nailed a miraculous layup that set up Yates' final push.

"We were playing our team basketball," said Peters of the run. "We started off not playing our basketball. As the game went on we got our focus back."

Peters was named the game's MVP after scoring 37 points and added 13 rebounds. Young had 24 for Yates while Darius Gardner added 16.

John Bohannon, a UTEP signee, led the way for Lancaster. He dominated inside, pulling down 23 rebounds and scoring 12 points. Michale Kyser and Tre Lynch both had 15 for Lancaster. J.J. Williams scored 12.