El Paso beats Austin 64-54, locks up final playoff spot in 1-5A

Photo by Colin Deaver – KTSM El Paso

El Paso, Texas – Playing their second do or die game in less than 16 hours, the El Paso High Tigers answered the 2 pm call and pulled away late beating Austin 64-54 to secure the final playoff spot in district 1-5A.

Austin, Bowie, and El Paso all tied for fourth place, Austin won a coin flip to earn a “bye”, El Paso beat Bowie in double overtime last night, and El Paso locks up the first known three-way boys basketball playoff spot tie since 1971 in El Paso prep basketball history.

Fernie Villegas led the Tigers with 24 points, his second straight game scoring 24 points, Justin Piel added 11 points for El Paso who will play Parkland on Monday in the bi-district round.

Things were close for the first three quarters, El Paso led 35-32 at the half, and no team had a lead larger than six points.  That was until Villegas took over, and the Tigers controlled the tempo and clock in the final five minutes of the game.

Austin’s Dante Salcido connected on five three pointers for all 15 of his points, the Panthers could not keep Villegas off the boards and outside of the lane.

In a repeat performance of last night, Villegas was automatic from underneath the basket, and was happy to keep his senior going with a playoff matchup against 2-5A champion Parkland.

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