Mason Sheppard

Pilot Point guard Mason Sheppard (11) drives the ball against Callisburg during the game Friday, Feb. 8 at Pilot Point High School in Pilot Point, Texas.

It’s been 18 years since Pilot Point advanced out of the second round of the playoffs, but the Bearcats have the momentum — and confidence — to make that milestone a real possibility this season.

The Bearcats, who defeated Van Alstyne 61-54 on Tuesday, will play Dallas Life Oak Cliff at 7 p.m. Friday at Flower Mound Marcus in the area round of the Class 3A playoffs.

Pilot Point was the only 3A team in the state to finish fourth in its district before knocking off a district champion in the first round.

“Our kids are completely ecstatic to go from where we were 2 1/2 weeks ago to where we are now,” Pilot Point coach Jeff Price said. “I’m just so proud of the kids and how they’ve stuck together with their backs against the wall. They’ve fought off elimination night after night after night.”

The Bearcats, who were a long shot to even qualify for the playoffs after the first eight District 9-3A games, have won six straight and are using their athleticism on the perimeter to create problems for opponents. Life Oak Cliff could match that athleticism and make for an exciting game.

The winner will advance to play Whitesboro or Edgewood in the regional quarterfinals. Pilot Point defeated Whitesboro, the 9-3A champion, 68-63 in the regular-season finale.

“There will be a lot of ball handlers on the floor, and both teams are going to be looking to push the ball up and down the floor,” Price said. “We need to hold them to the upper 40s or the lower 50s — I think we’ll be in the ballgame and have a chance if we can do that.”

BRADY KEANE can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @BradyKeane. 

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