A poor start to the game saw Rouse’s season come to an end earlier than the Raiders expected.
They scored just 21 points over the first three quarters against Nacogdoches Friday night in Madisonville in the second round of the playoffs, but an 18-point fourth quarter wasn’t enough as they were eliminated following a 42-39 loss.
“Going into the game, we felt it was a good matchup for us,” Rouse head coach Shane Krause said. “Defensively, we did really well and made it hard for them to score. It was one of our worse offensive performances. Nothing was going in all night.”
Seniors led the way in their final game in a Rouse uniform. Kyle Mitchell scored 15 points, Gavin Sharp added eight points and Zach Berard chipped in with six points.
The Raiders haven’t been able to get over the second round bump in their short lifetime as a school. They’ve previously made it to the second round of the playoffs three times before this season, losing every time.
“We had good practices with a ton of energy,” Krause said. “Once we started to struggle maybe we felt the pressure. We showed a ton of resiliency and grit with the comeback. It’s just hard to overcome 21 points through three quarters.”
Rouse won 25 games this year and finished tied for second place in the district standings and handed district champions Georgetown one of their three district losses this season. The Raiders also beat Cedar Park twice in the same season for the first time in school history.
Mitchell led the team with 14.1 points per game and Michael Forster wasn’t far behind with 11.6 each time out to go with a team-best 6.8 rebounds per game. Sharp rounded out the senior trio averaging 9.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.
“The seniors are really special and we’ve had some incredible moments and games,” Krause said. “They’re a great group of kids on and off the court. That makes this job so much more enjoyable.”
Rouse wasn’t the only local school to make an early exit. Leander, Vista Ridge and Cedar Park all capped their seasons with losses in the first round of the playoffs.
The Timberwolves lost to Brenham 43-40 last week in Rockdale. They had to rally, winning the last three games of the district season to even make the playoffs. Cedar Park has made the playoffs eight seasons in a row and 10 of the last 11 years.
Leander nearly collapsed in the second half of the district season, losing five of the final six district games before beating Vandegrift in a play-in tournament just to make the playoffs. The Lions dropped their first round game to San Antonio Reagan 52-35.
Vista Ridge beat Leander in the play-in tournament to clinch the No. 3 seed and lost its first round game 56-54 to San Antonio Roosevelt.