Timberview boys claim Class 5A state championship

Wins over Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial and Fort Bend Marshall give the Wolves their first basketball title

Keven Costlow

SAN ANTONIO – The Fort Bend Marshall Buffalos patiently waited for Mansfield Timberview to miss some free throws down the stretch in their Class 5A Boys Basketball championship game Saturday afternoon.

The Wolves just didn’t miss enough to help them, however.

Led by Chris Mullins’ 36 points – 15 of which came in the fourth quarter – Timberview claimed the state title with a 74-66 victory over Marshall in the Alamodome. The win wrapped up a 32-7 season for the new state champions, while Marshall finished its season at 32-8.

The beginning of the game wasn’t as optimistic, as the Wolves fell behind, 18-9 after one quarter due to cold shooting. Timberview managed to stay close in the second quarter, closing to within 37-27 at the half.

Then things changed.

The Wolves went to a pressure defense, and in the first five minutes of the third quarter, Timberview took off on a 15-2 run and took a 42-39 lead. In all, Timberview hit nine of 15 shots in the third stanza and increased its lead to 49-43 after three quarters.

A 10-4 charge to begin the fourth quarter increased the Wolves lead to 59-47 and forced the Buffalos to start fouling to catch up. Repeatedly, they fouled Mullins, and then paid the price for doing so. The lead grew to 64-51 and forced Marshall to fire up a series of three-pointers to catch up.

Jabari Rice’s three-point play with 2:14 left got Marshall to within 66-58, but between Mullins, Tim Johnson and William Owens, Timberview pulled away for the win.

Behind Mullins’ 36, Johnson added 15 points and Owens 10. Rice led Marshall with 20 points.

Thursday night, Timberview advanced to the title game with a 68-48 semifinal victory over Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial. The Wolves broke open a close game in the third quarter and pulled away in the second half for the win.

Mullins, the Most Valuable Player of the State tournament, led Timberview with 21 points against Veterans Memorial, while Johnson added 20.