AUSTIN (AP) — Dallas Triple A Academy might be the most unpopular basketball team in Texas. After an 80-54 win against previously unbeaten Mumford in the Class 1A Division I boys’ basketball final Saturday, though, it’s officially the best in its classification.
Triple A Academy has been characterized as a basketball factory that plucks top players from its base in talent-rich southern Dallas. There has been a backlash that the big-city newcomer enjoyed advantages not shared by schools in the state’s second-smallest division, usually characterized by hardscrabble, rural-based teams with no club or AAU participation.
Never mind the backlash. Triple A Academy (28-5) still had to get past Mustangs of Mumford. In doing so, it became the first charter school to win a state title in University Interscholastic League athletics.
It did so impressively, getting 29 points and 10 rebounds from Jeremiah Jefferson and 18 points from Tyler Singleton. The Stallions also forced 20 turnovers by talented-but-overwhelmed Mumford. Triple A Academy outrebounded Mumford 40-26, with 23 of those on the offensive end, and scored 23 second-chance points.
“We had heard all season that if we played Mumford that it would be a close game,” said Jefferson, who had a combined 66 points in his two games at the state tournament. “We won by 26 points. That makes a statement about who’s the best team.”
The championship game produced another first for the state tournament — boos raining down on the winning team during the game and after the final horn.
The boos directed at Triple A Academy were even louder, and from just about every corner of the arena, during the 1A Division I trophy presentation conducted at halftime of the Class 3A title game. Mumford received a one long, loud standing ovation for its runner-up finish.
“We didn’t worry about the boos. We just use them for motivation,” Triple A Academy coach Timothy Singleton said. “These kids won the championship on the court, by doing the things they had to do to. That’s the bottom line.”
Mumford (39-1), which lost in the finals for the second consecutive year, was led by LaKendric Hyson’s 22 points and 10 rebounds. Aubrie King added 13 points for the Mustangs.
“I consider us to be the public school champion of Texas, and I have no reservations in claiming that,” Mumford coach Chris Sodek said.
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