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MISSION – By virtue of its two-game lead over Nikki Rowe, the District 30-5A title had already been anointed upon the Rattlers of Sharyland High School. Win or lose the Rattlers were set to celebrate the title with the cutting of the net, pictures and even some Valentine’s Day cupcakes.

Of course, if David Keith’s squad lost, those cupcakes would have tasted a little bitter. Fortunately, the Rattlers did not overlook their opponent, taking down the Bulldogs, 50-35. The win was the thirteenth straight for Sharyland, making the district championship that much sweeter.

“It wasn’t the prettiest game,” admitted Sharyland head coach David Keith following the game, before adding that the win was nice and gratifying to see his team’s hard work pay off. “To get the win to close out [the season], to be able to cut the net down and hear the [victory] song playing and watch these guys enjoy it, is something I will never forget.”

20120214-Sharyland-v-McHi-Boys-Basketball-dy-013Though McHi was not a cupcake team themselves, Sharyland’s first quarter proved the difference in the game as a majority of their offensive production came in the first eight minutes. In fact, Shary scored nearly half of its final point total in that first period as it built a 23-7 lead.

The quick lead was a combination of success on both ends of the floor as Jesse Pistokache came right out of the gate with a three pointer at the top of the key. A couple Bulldog turnovers later Quino Pistokache added a three of his own to build the Rattler’s lead to a commanding 9-0.

To their credit, McHi did not back down. For the second and third quarters the Bulldogs battled relatively evenly with the Rattlers, closing the lead margin down to as little of eight a couple of different times.

Yet, this was the night of the Rattlers as the home team found ways to limit their opponent from gaining any real momentum, using turnovers, free throws and clutch shots. In the final quarter it was Eduardo Garcia’s short jumper that put the team up by ten again and took the gasp out of McHi.

Though it was not Sharyland’s best performance of the year, it pushed the team’s win streak to 13 straight games and gave its team a district championship.

GAME MVP: Joaquin Pistokache and John Madrigal. The two seniors and co-captains were not the leading scorers (in fact, Madrigal left the game early with an ankle sprain), but they are the leaders of the team and a district championships doesn’t mean more to anyone else.

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