LEWES, DELAWARE -- Cedar Hill High School of Texas jumped out to a big, early lead and held off a valient Rainier Beach second-half comeback to gain a 59-52 victory on Friday night in the Slam Dunk to the Beach national semifinal.
With the victory, Cedar Hill moves into the championship game of the Slam, and hopes to continue the recent Texas domination of the event. In 1999 and 2000, Willowridge High School of Texas won the tournament. So the Longhorns of Cedar Hill are trying to make it three in the row for the Lonestar state.
As for Rainier Beach, it will meet All Hallows in the third place game. All Hallows lost to Germantown Academy.
Had it not been for a horrible start in the first two quarters, the Vikings might have come back to upend Cedar Hill. But the Longhorns who held Rainier Beach to 11 points and were up 36-19 late in the third quarter, had to hold on for dear life as Nate Robinson caught fire.
With Robinson on its side, Rainier Beach never seems to be out of any game. And despite the horrific start, the Vikings slapped a 24-9 run on Cedar Hill to pull within 45-43 with 3:24 to play on a three-pointer by Robinson.
Bleeding heavily and on the ropes, the Longhorns responded like champions, taking every Rainier Beach punch and countering with a 8-1 run of their own to go up 53-44 with 1:47 to play. Michigan bound Daniel Horton (right) capped the run with a three-pointer.
Rainier Beach got no closer than four points the rest of the way. Although they had a chance to cut the lead to three when Robinson was fouled hoisting a trey with 30.3 seconds left. He sank two of three free throws to pull the Vikings to within 56-52. But Rainier Beach would not score the rest of the game.
Horton led Cedar Hill with 20 points and underated forward duo of Evan Patterson and Cedric Brooks once again came up big for the Longhorns. Brooks finished with 16 points and nine rebounds while Patterson notched 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Despite a rough shooting night from the floor, Robinson made many clutch plays in the second half on the way to a game-high 23 points. Roderick Stewart