63° F Thursday, May 25, 2017

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The crispness of the Cavaliers’ offense was clear Tuesday night, yet it was their dogged defense that brought home a first-round playoff win.

Lake Travis’ length and quickness was more than the Mavericks could handle in the Cavaliers 73-50 win in the bidistrict round of the playoffs. Jordan Manse had a game-high 22 points to lead Lake Travis (24-9) while Stefan Vidovic added 11 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in the win over McNeil (18-16) at Vandegrift High School.

“We knew they were bigger than us and we would have to use speed to our advantage,” Manse said. “That’s just how we are, everyone on this team is a threat … We’re having a lot of fun out there.”

The Mavs kept it close early but never led in the contest, watching a 9-7 deficit balloon out to 22-9 with two minutes gone in the second quarter, and McNeil never got closer than 10 the rest of the way as the Cavs took a 39-22 lead to halftime.

“Lake Travis outplayed us in just about every phase,” McNeil coach Darrell Hagemann said. “We wanted to get inside and get to the free throw line, and we didn’t do that.”

Luke Hutton fought off foul trouble to notch 12 points and four assists guiding the offense, while Sean Steffen added six points and five boards as the team, led by Vidovic, crashed the boards and dove to the floor with relentless energy.

“Coach (Clint Baty) really stressed defense more than anything,” Vidovic said. “Luke did a really good job handling the ball, we were not panicked … It’s a good confidence for today, but we have to get ready for the next team now.”

Baty challenged his team all week to be physical and handle contact from the McNeil big men and it paid off.

“The kids came to compete tonight and they really competed,” Baty said.

Trey Dilworth had 17 points to lead McNeil, Corey Calbreath had 12 points while Kameron Teal and Trent Neilson had eight points each.

McNeil made a charge out of halftime as Dilworth, Calbreath and Nielson put in buckets to slim the lead to 39-28, and Dilworth’s nifty offensive rebound and put back made it a 10-point game but the Cavaliers got to the basket when they needed to.

“Lake Travis outplayed us in just about every phase,” McNeil coach Darrell Hagemann said. “We wanted to get inside and get to the free throw line, and we didn’t do that … We had a hard time with their length.”

Lake Travis will face Lufkin in the area round of the playoffs 7 p.m. Friday at Bryan Rudder High School.

“This is our first time all playing together as a team,” Manse said of this year’s squad. “It took us a while but we’re all together now and we have a lot of fun.”

1Q          2Q          3Q          4Q          F

McNeil                  7              15           17           11           50

Lake Travis          15           24           16           18           73

McNeil (18-16): Trey Dilworth 17,  Corey Calbreath 12, Kameron Teal 8, Trent Neilson 8; Lake Travis (24-9): Jordan Manse 22, Luke Hutton 12, Stefan Vidovic 11, Sean Steffen 6, Jake Budde 6

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