By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports
For a program once a bit void of perennial success, the Midlothian boys’ basketball team is once again headed back to the postseason tournament. The Panthers are taking a head of steam with them, too.
The Panthers will ride an 11-game winning streak into the 5A playoffs. Their 20-5 overall record marks the fifth consecutive 20-plus win season for the Panthers, who have now won a district championship in two of the past three seasons.
The last Midlothian loss came Dec. 29 on the road against Ennis, a game that ended with the Lions on top, 44-43, following a last-second free throw.
Midlothian eventually got its revenge against playoff-bound Ennis with a 59-38 victory at home on Jan. 22.
At the time, it was the Panthers’ sixth consecutive win and tied Midlothian with Waco University for the top spot in the district standings at 6-1. The win also gave the Panthers a two-game lead in the district standings.
“I am proud of my entire team. It took all of them to stand up and challenge [Ennis],” Midlothian head boys’ basketball coach Steven Middleton told KBEC Sports following the win. “We had to fight through some adversity with Corbin Green having fouls, but our two sophomores, Kelton [Williams] and Ovie [Agbigbe], stepped up offensively. Taylor Toby, to me, has been our defensive player of the year and Luke Randalls is our glue. All of those guys deserve kudos.”
The Panthers went on to defeat Red Oak (46-38), Corsicana (61-32), Waco University (48-33), Cleburne (74-30) and Joshua (33-21) to secure the District 14-5A crown — with two wins to spare.
Waco University finished the regular season second in the district standings at 9-3, while Joshua was third at 7-5.
Senior forward Corbin Green leads the Panthers with 12.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.
Middleton noted that Green “has to be the district player of the year. He has bounced back in the second half (of district play) to establish his dominance. And that is what has turned us on.”
Williams, a sophomore guard, posted a respectable 11.9PPG and 3.0REB during the regular season. The Panthers will also see significant playoff scoring from Agbigbe (7.2PPG), senior Luke Reynolds (6.9PPG, 5.0REB), junior Nathan Shepherd (4.5PPG) and senior Gavin Crow (4.3PPG).
Midlothian will face Forney in the 5A Region II bi-district playoffs at 7 p.m. Saturday at Lancaster High School. Ticket and streaming details have not yet been determined.
All photos by Fred Phipps/KBEC Sports
Fred Phipps/KBEC Sports contributed to this report
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith