Hoops recruiting: Gibson's team out of playoffs

Galena Park I.S.D. Athletic Complex hosted the regional semi-final hopes of Houston-area, district 24-4A rivals Kashmere and <B>Daniel Gibson's</b> Jones. Only one could advance...and on this night, Jones got booted out of the playoffs by a Rams team looking to return the bitter taste of defeat after being whipped by those same Falcons twice during the regular season. Kashmere 83, Jones 75.

"Can't even tell you what this feels like," a despondent Gibson told IT despite ringing the place up for 37 points. "We beat them twice earlier in the year and we might have overlooked them this time."

As for whether or not any solace could be taken from the fact they gave it all they had, the state's top-ranked point guard searched for the right answer as he said, "In a way we did. But in a way, we didn't...We didn't come out on top, so I guess we didn't do enough."

Gibson had a 22-point outburst spanning the 2nd and 3rd quarters but it wasn't enough to push his team to victory.

"I guess it might seem to some that I had a good game, but maybe I could have done some of the little things better, like coming up with some key steals or more rebounds," Gibson said. "I guess you could say it was the worst game of my life because we didn't get the W."

I thought I heard someone say 'Keep your head up kid,' but nothing could be said to make Gibson feel any better. The look on his face was the look of a kid who cares as much, if not more, as any. Perhaps being the leader of a team isn't as glorious as it may appear from afar.

Finally, in what was billed as the Houston 4A showdown, a dejected Jessie Shelton told IT that his team just didn't play well enough to win it.

"Kashmere shot the ball extremely well and they just wouldn't die," Shelton said as it looked like his mind was working overtime wondering what he might have done differently. "Give those (Kashmere) guys credit, though, they played very well."

If there was one man who was the proverbial thorn in the Falcons' side...

"Number 24," the Jones head man said as he shook his head, "Mike Conway had a terrific game for them and he knocked down his free throws, every one on their team knocked down the free throws. For whatever reason, we weren't getting any opportunities at the line in the second half, but like I said, give those guys credit...They were better than we were tonight."

Shelton added, "We would've liked to go to Beaumont this Friday but when you look at the depth Kashmere had and the addition of Mike Conway -- who they (Kashmere) got back in time for the playoffs --they probably should have won. But we thought we could do it and it's just not easy for any of us right now."

Although the Falcons' season won't continue Friday as hoped, Gibson still has a big day ahead later this week. The star guard is scheduled to announce his college decision on Thursday, which is also his birthday. Gibson visited Oklahoma last weekend and Kansas recently, and he still lists both schools as possibilities, but Texas has been his long-time leader. He will make his announcement at Jones at 11 a.m. Thursday.

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