Burnet Bulldogs open basketball playoffs against Boerne

UPDATE: An earlier version of this story had the tipoff for the Feb. 19 game at 7 p.m. It is actually 6 p.m.

 

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO

Two evenly matched teams face off in a battle of wills to begin the Class 4A boys basketball tournament Tuesday, Feb. 19.

The Burnet Bulldogs (19-13 overall; 5-5 in District 27-4A) play Boerne High (23-11, 9-1 District 28-4A) at Lyndon B. Johnson High School, 505 N. Nugent Ave. in Johnson City. Tipoff is 6 p.m.

Boerne is the co-district champion with Fredericksburg and enters the playoffs as the district’s top seed.

The Greyhounds are led by senior guard Ben Mackay, who is averaging 15.5 points. 2.9 assists, 2.8 steals, and 3.6 rebounds a game, and senior forward Hunter Isenhart with 9.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and one steal a contest.

Burnet head coach Roy Kiser noted Boerne uses “effective back screens, down screens, and ball screens” to create open shots and clear running lanes to the basket.

“Boerne is a good shooting team,” he said.

The Greyhounds have stuck to what they know best defensively: playing a tough zone. Kiser said it’s what Boerne has done for a number of years.

The Bulldogs will counter with sophomore point guard Luke Kiser, who is leading his team in scoring with 15 points a game along with 4.6 rebounds. Senior Jud Roy is averaging 12 points and 6.3 rebounds a game.

Perhaps the biggest lift is from junior Kaleb Alexander, who returned to the lineup three games ago, the coach said.

“He is making a big impact in (rebounding) as well,” Kiser said.

Sophomore C.J. Greenwell is shooting with a great deal of confidence, Kiser said, and senior Ross Giesenschlag “is starting to play defense to his potential.”

Kiser said he has watched this team grow in many ways because of events out of their control.

“Our guys have really battled through more adversity from injuries than any team I have ever had,” he said. “They are tough kids, but it has made it difficult to be consistent because of the everchanging lineup.”

While controlling tempo, limiting turnovers, and making free throws are always important factors to any game, Kiser said the Bulldogs can’t overlook Mackay or Isenhart either.

“I think we need to limit Boerne’s two best players from scoring their average and have smart, confident offensive possessions,” he said. 

The winner of this contest gets the winner of Fulshear-Caldwell in the area round of the playoffs later this week.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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