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YEAR IN REVIEW No. 8: Wrangler boys basketball makes regional tournament for first time
West Mesquite had a season that will go into the program's history books as it advanced to the Class 4A regional tournament for the first time in school history.
The Wranglers, who went 28-8 on the year, won their first four games of the season but really started opening eyes during the Christmas holidays at the Dallas ISD Coca-Cola Tournament when they posted a 4-1 record against top competition, including victories over 5A programs Skyline and Plano East.
West Mesquite started the new year well, but then in a game it had been looking forward to, it suffered its worst setback of the season in a 91-64 loss to rival Lancaster.
The Wranglers refused to dwell on any disappointment, as they rattled off seven straight wins down the stretch to secure second place in 15-4A, despite a meaningless loss to Ennis in the regular season finale.
West Mesquite's playoff run was almost over before it could get really started in the first round. The Wranglers trailed Elgin going to the fourth quarter before rallying to survive the scare with a 70-63 victory.
West Mesquite had a much easier time in the area finals, cruising past Whitehouse in a 66-44 win to set up a third meeting with Lancaster.
While the Tigers had won the first two meetings by double digits, this match-up would be a different story.
The Wranglers stayed right with Lancaster through four quarters and then struck in the final seconds when Jalen Etienne knocked down a jumper that proved to be the difference in a 64-63 win that sent them to the regional tournament for the first time.
West Mesquite's run would come to an end in the regional semifinals. In what was a one-point game at halftime, South Oak Cliff exploded in the second half to pull away with a 72-53 win.