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Atascocita falls to Austin Westlake in Class 6A semifinal – Houston Chronicle

SAN ANTONIO — Tom Hart watched the game clock wind down to zero Tuesday night at the Northside ISD Sports Gym.

As the buzzer went off to end the game, the senior point guard was emotional as he walked off the court with his teammates for the last time wearing Atascocita across his chest.

“It’s tough because we worked so hard,” Hart said. “This group is a family, and it’s just tough. It was a very special year. This has probably been one of the best teams in my life that I have been a part of. From the coaching staff and teammates, this has been a great ride.”

Atascocita’s season ended with a 57-44 loss to Austin Westlake in a Class 6A state semifinal game. Westlake (30-1) advances to the state title game for the first time in school history.

The Eagles (24-3) were in their second state semifinal appearance since the 2015-2016 season, when Carsen Edwards-led Atascocita came up short in the championship game against DeSoto.

This will be the first time since 2010-2011 the Houston area will not have a team in a boys state final in the UIL’s largest classification.

Atascocita coach David Martinez, who was coaching in his hometown Tuesday, reflected with his seniors after the game in the locker room.

“I told them I was proud of them,” Martinez said. “We have been through a lot with this group the last four years. We expressed to them how we appreciated them and how they made the community proud. I can’t say enough about how special this season’s group was. They’re just really good kids.”

Atascocita never led Tuesday’s game and had the game tied at 14 at the end of the first quarter.

The Eagles were within three points after junior guard AJ Aungst knocked down a 3-pointer. The Chaparrals led 45-42 with 4:40 left in the game.

Westlake turned up the intensity and used its size to take down Atascocita.

KJ Adams, a 6-7 Kansas signee, dominated throughout the game in the paint and scored nine of his game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter to seal the victory for the Chaparrals.

“I think we tried to get it all back in one,” Martinez said. “They’re so big, and we couldn’t get stops. KJ Adams had a good game. We were trying to take charges on KJ Adams, but we were waiting for him to get to us as opposed to meeting him. He kept getting and-ones. They just played a little harder than us tonight.”

Hart led the Eagles with 16 points while Christian Ashby had 12 points, with all of his field goals being 3-pointers.

Westlake’s Eain Mowat had 13 points, and Preston Clark added 11 points.

Another wooden trophy will go in the case in Atascocita’s hallway, but Martinez and the Eagles will be back next year with hopes of winning a state title.

“This was a special season,” Martinez said. “This group said when they were sophomores that they wanted to make it to state. If times were normal, we would be playing at the Alamodome like usual, but these guys have put in a lot of work and so has my coaching staff.

“We just came up short tonight, and there’s only one winning team at the end of the season. We were one game away, but tonight wasn’t our night. I can’t say enough about these kids and the community. They did a great job representing the city of Humble.”

marcus.gutierrez

@chron.com

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