BBK: Texas team has too much firepower for Royals

San Marcos hung close with reigning Texas state boys basketball champion Prestonwood Christian before the falling 74-63 in the semifinals of the National Prep Classic in Santa Maria on Monday night.

The Royals were tied with Prestonwood 17-17 at the end of the first quarter before the school from Plano, Texas, outscored them 25-7 in the second quarter. San Marcos made a couple of runs at the Lions, but the perennial powerhouse program from the Lone Star state had too much firepower and booked a ticket for the final.

Prestonwood will play El Camino Real of the L.A. City Section in the title game.

Schnider Herard, a 6-11 center, was the catalyst for Prestonwood (18-1). He had six rim-rattling dunks and finished with 18 points. Evan Peters, a 6-4 guard, led the Lions (18-1) with 23 points.

“Their big kid came to play tonight,” San Marcos coach Dave Odell said. “He used his big frame and leaping ability to manhandle us. He played his best game of the tournament tonight and we had no answer for him.”

Despite the loss, San Marcos never backed down and played hard till the end. The Royals were led by seniors Elijah Johnson and Bryce Ridenour who each ended with 18 points. Wes Ghan Gibson had 13 in a strong outing.

“ I was pleased that we were able to compete at this level of competition,” Odell said. “While our execution was lacking today, I saw no fear in our guys, they battled.

“That second quarter was our undoing,” he continued. “We got into some foul trouble and couldn’t sustain the same level of play. They are just too good of a team to have any lapses. We learned some great lessons tonight, we will be better for it.”

San Marcos faces another tough opponent in the third-place game, taking on Lawndale. The team from the South Bay area of Los Angeles has two 6-10 players, including Chemizie Metu, who is rated as one of the top power forwards in the country.

“We will have our hands full,” said Odell