Being at the top of the district is nothing new for the Highland Park boys basketball team.
The Scots have won at least 22 games in each of the past four seasons, yet postseason success has been elusive. HP hasn’t advanced past the area round since 2009, and is just 1-4 in playoff games during that span.
Even two years ago, when the Scots dominated their district and went 27-2 during the regular season, they suffered a lopsided loss in the second round to Kimball (which, in fairness, went on to win a 4A state title).
HP (27-4) will look to reverse that trend when it opens the postseason against Frisco Liberty (16-10) tonight in a Class 4A Region II bi-district game, set for 7 p.m. at Hebron High School.
The Scots clinched the outright 10-4A crown with a 64-42 win over North Forney on Feb. 11, and will enter tonight’s game with a week of rest.
The Redhawks lost to Frisco 75-49 on Friday in a tiebreaker game for the third playoff seed from District 9-4A. Liberty, led by junior point guard Ashten Bloom, recovered from a slow start in league play by winning seven of its last eight regular-season games.
The Redhawks are making their first playoff appearance since 2011, when they defeated the Scots in the bi-district round.
HP will counter with an experienced lineup of seniors that includes double-figure scorers Derek Cahn, Clayton Murtha, and Evan Beucler.
With a roster built for height and sharp shooting, perhaps this is the year the Scots can make another deep run similar to 2008, when they advanced to the regional finals before falling to eventual state champion South Oak Cliff.
If the Scots win, they would face another Dallas ISD opponent in the second round, either Kimball or Conrad. Then, powerhouse Frisco Heritage could loom in the regional quarterfinals. Such is the nature of being in one the state’s toughest regions, and in one of the country’s hotbeds for high school basketball talent.
By the way, for those who can’t make it to the game, our friends at sportsgram.net will offer live video and audio.