WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) -
For the first time in WFISD history, two boys basketball teams have made the regional tournament.
The Rider Raiders are in for the second time in program history after a 53-42 win over Amarillo last night.
For the Hirschi Huskies, it’s the fourth time making the regional semifinals after a 40-36 win over Decatur.
This has been a goal all year.
The regional tournament has been their goal all season after losing the round before the past two years and the seniors say their experience paid off last night.
“We definitely knew what was coming at us and we definitely knew the feelings associated with being in the third round," Rider senior guard Carson Sager said. "So having been able to be there and get past those nerves.”
“Being calm and collected and knowing when to push the ball and when to settle down and control the game," Rider senior guard Kellar Owens said.
When the Raiders made the regional finals in 2016, that team played good defense but also scored 59 points or more in every game.
This year, Rider is playing lockdown defense, allowing 42 or fewer points in each playoff game.
They will need that Friday when they face Mansfield Timberview in the regional semifinals, the same team the Lady raiders faced in this round just a week ago.
5A Reg. Semifinal
Rider vs Mansfield Timberview- 4 p.m. Friday at Snyder’s Coliseum
For the Hirschi Huskies, they have been dominant since the start of district play.
But this team has gone through a bit of adversity, having to forfeit two district wins after the playing of an ineligible player and facing several state-ranked opponents during the season.
But the Huskies say all of that has prepared them to fight hard for this regional tournament appearance.
“Through our highs and lows, our lows especially," Hirschi senior forward Gabe Colbert said. “It prepared us for what we don’t want to see ourselves in, we don’t want to be in that situation again.”
“Just to see how everyone is, we are going to know how everyone is going to beat," Hirschi senior guard Nasir Watson said. "So just compete and get out of it.”
The win over Decatur gave Hirschi its first regional tournament appearance since 2013, but it meant a little more for the Huskies; they had some revenge on the mind.
Decatur was the same team to eliminate them last season in the area round.
Also, the Eagles were the last loss the Huskies took on the court, coming back on January 17th, when Decatur won 52-35 and they say that loss left a sour taste in their mouth.
“Listening to them in our locker, we heard them cheering and it kind of hurt us a little bit," Watson said. "So we kind of wanted to get back at them a little bit.”
“They had came and beat us on our own court and heard them celebrating in our locker room," Colbert said. "It was irking, we didn’t want that feeling. We had to get our payback.”
4A Reg. Semifinal
Hirschi vs Pampa- 6:30 p.m. Friday at Lubbock Christian