By Mike Graham / A-J Media
Posted Mar 2, 2018 at 6:28 PM Updated Mar 2, 2018 at 6:28 PM
The Patriots left a year’s worth of what-ifs in the rear view mirror Friday with a 62-41 win against Conroe Covenant Christian in the TAPPS 2A state championship game at West High School in Central Texas.
All Saints Episcopal built a 15-4 lead through the first quarter and never looked back.
Austin Hickle, a senior, scored a game-high 27 points and Trinity University signee Luke Stuart recorded 21 to pace the team. Their point totals alone gave All Saints the winning margin it needed to avenge last year’s title game loss.
“I think a big key for us winning is that we never shied away from the goal,” Stuart said. “We knew we were good enough. We knew we had what it took. I think a lot of credit goes to our coaches for planning out the season and getting us clicking at the right time for this weekend. Everything really just came together. We played some of our best ball, and it’s very satisfying.”
Stuart and Hickle are pieces of a senior class responsible for 115 total wins in four seasons. They never finished a campaign worse than the regional level of competition.
All Saints (30-6 this season) bowed out in the state semifinal round back when Stuart and Hickle were sophomores. Covenant Christian finished 28-8 overall.
It has been a banner year for the school at large.
The volleyball team reached the state championship game after winning in 2016 and its brand new TAPPS six-man football team made the playoffs.
“This is the sixth year of the high school, and it’s been a step-by-step process,” All Saints basketball coach and athletics director Robert Brashear said. “We had a great plan in place to gradually build and add sports as we were able to sustain them. It’s so much easier to start something when you’re having some initial success. And then great kids who bought in as the first wave.”
Myles Tipton, Bracy Estes and Joseph Bayouth registered points in the state championship game as well. Tipton and Estes are expected to return to the lineup next season while Bayouth will graduate in May.
“We were talking about it after the game,” Hickle said. “It’s not just about this team but that we created a brotherhood. Coming back each year after going off to college, we’ll remember this game forever and remember this team we built. It was huge to win this game, but the journey that took us there couldn’t have happened better.”