CUERO — Teams rarely play man-to-man defense against Schulenburg.

Port Aransas did, and the Shorthorns were ready for the challenge.

“We have quickness,” said guard Kenny King. “We played good off the ball on offense and moved the ball around. Our defense helped, too.”

The Shorthorns used their quickness to capture a 57-50 Class 2A regional final win over the Marlins on Friday night at the Cuero gym.

Schulenburg improved to 23-7 and moved into the semifinals for the first time since 2015.

The Shorthorns will play Grapeland, a 75-57 winner over LaPoyner, at a date and time to be determined.

“I thought we came out really well,” said Schulenburg coach Richard Hoogendorn. “They never led. I don’t think they did. I’ll take that anytime.”

Alex Lozano converted one of his two 3-pointers to open the game, and Schulenburg led by as many as seven points before taking a 22-16 advantage into halftime.

“They’re a talented team,” King said. “They all work together. But our defense showed up today and did the job.”

King, who had 12 points, and Bryce Wilson, who scored 10, continuously beat the Marlins (26-5) to the basket.

“Their man defense helped us,” King said. “It did. It gave us easy buckets.”

The pace sped up in the third quarter as the Shorthorns opened a 15-point lead.

Lozano scored 10 points, and Brett Janacek hit a pair of 3-pointers for Schulenburg.

“It was a team effort,” Hoogendorn said. “We had guys in early foul trouble. The bench stepped up and did a nice job. I really liked the third quarter. I don’t know what we did, but I really liked it.”

Conner Kreutziger scored 18 points, and Kris Jones opened the fourth quarter with six straight points to pull Port Aransas within nine points.

But the Marlins got no closer until the final seconds.

“I think we’re trending where we need to be,” Hoogendoorn said. “Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.”

Class 2A Regional Final

Schulenburg 57, Port Aransas 50

Points: (PA) Conner Kreutziger 18, Sydney Herndon 11, Kris Jones 11, Aidan Schmidt 8, Jason Schaefer 2. (S) Kenny King 12, Bryce Wilson 10, Jalen Wilson 7, TJ Speed 6, Brett Janacek 6, Alex Lozano 10, Kenny Schramek 4, Jason Schaefer 2.

Halftime: Schulenburg 22-16. 3-pointers: Schmidt 2, Herndon, Jones, Lozano 2, Janacek 2. Records: Port Aransas 26-5; Schulenburg 23-7.

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Mike Forman is the sports editor of the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or by email at mforman@vicad.com. Follow him on Twitter at @mikeforman21

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Mike Forman is the sports editor of the Victoria Advocate. He has worked at the Advocate since 1982. He has a bachelor's degree from SMU and a master's degree from UCLA.

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