Stakes raised for rivalry matchup
Spartans-Elks Friday at Spartan Arena a must-win game for both teams
BURLESON – The Centennial Spartans varsity basketball team’s 59-47 loss to the Midlothian Panthers Tuesday at Spartan Arena raised the stakes of the crosstown-rivalry matchup between the Spartans and the Burleson Elks Friday at Spartan Arena and opened the possibility of a three-way tie between the Spartans, Elks and Seguin for the district’s final playoff spot.
The Burleson Buzz is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support this work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
The Spartans (7-8 in district, 12-19 overall) must beat the sixth-place Elks (5-9, 15-19) to at least maintain a tie with the Seguin Cougars (7-8, 18-14) for the fourth and final District 8-5A playoff spot.
The Spartans beat the Elks 68-30 in their first matchup of the season January 9 at BHS Arena.
If the Spartans beat the Elks again Friday, they’ll be a half-game ahead of Seguin and will wait to see whether Seguin beats the eighth-place Cleburne Yellow Jackets Tuesday in Cleburne to know their playoff status. If the Spartans and Seguin both win, they’ll play a playoff-tiebreaker game to determine who earns fourth-place and a 2024 UIL Playoff berth.
Seguin lost 68-62 to the second-place Mansfield Timberview Wolves Tuesday in Mansfield to maintain the fourth-place tie with the Spartans.
If the Elks beat the Spartans Friday then beat the seventh-place Midlothian-Heritage Jaguars Tuesday at BHS Arena, and Cleburne beats Seguin Tuesday, the Elks would find themselves in a three-way tie for fourth-place.
The Spartans led Midlothian 23-20 at halftime Tuesday before being outscored 20-7 in the third quarter and 19-17 in the fourth quarter to lose and miss a chance to move ahead of Seguin in the standings.
Spartans sophomore guard Keylan Jones scored a game-high 16 points in the loss to Midlothian. Junior guard Abram Hicks led the team with seven steals and four assists and was the Spartans’ second-leading scorer with 10 points.
The Spartans host the Elks Friday at 8 p.m. at Spartan Arena.