Dallas Kimball took on McKinney North Friday night looking to make a trip to their third consecutive Regional Final. Kimball used solid outside shooting to outlast a game North squad and come away with a 56-49 win.
Kimball started off hot right from the jump as star guard Keith Frazier nailed two deep three pointers to put the Knights up 6-2 early.
Frazier’s slick shooting was only the beginning Kimball hit four three-pointers in the first quarters and used lockdown defense and five McKinney North turnovers to race to an 18-4 lead after one quarter of play.
North rallied in the second quarter relying on their defense to keep them close until their o offense came to life. The Bulldogs rolled off six straight points midway through the quarter capped by Colin Curran’s three to cut the lead down to eight 23-15 with three minutes to play in the half.
A basket from Jordan Adams stopped the McKinney run, then Keith Frazier hit a three and Kimball rattled off five straight points helping the Knights close the half with a 28-17 lead.
North rallied early in the second half behind a three from Colin Curran to cut the lead to 30-22 but Kimball answered with a three of their own to push the lead back to eleven.
That’s when North turned to Kody Wilson, the Junior scored six third quarter points and his steal and layup with just over two minutes to play cut the Kimball lead to six 34-28. A driving layup from Julion Pearre brought North within four 34-30 going into the final quarter of play.
The Bulldogs cut the lead to two after Pearre converted a pair of free throws early in the fourth, but Kimball answered right back.
The Knights went inside using their size advantage and getting back-to-back buckets from D’Angelo Allen and Trent Brinkley to push their lead to six.
A three pointer from Julion Pearre kept North in it and cut the Kimball lead down to three. But a three pointer from Gabe Lilly, Kimball’s eighth of the game and a tip in from Trent Brinkley pushed the Kimball lead back to 43-35 with just under four minutes to play.
North pulled within four points on two separate occasions but could get no closer. Kimball converted 12 consecutive free throws down the stretch to come away with a with a seven point win 56-49.
“We started out with energy and we ended with energy, we shot our free throws well and said free throws and rebounds gets you out of big games and it did tonight.” Kimball Coach Royce Johnson said.
Keith Frazier led Kimball to the win the Senior guard scored 15 points to go along with seven rebounds, six assist and two blocks.
Julion Pearre had 13 points, nine rebounds, and three assist for McKinney North (23-12) in the loss.
Dallas Kimball (21-9) moves one step closer to defending their State Championship; they will play Arlington Seguin in the Regional Final Saturday at 1 p.m.