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    Hallettsville heading back to regional tournament



    Hallettsville's Dailon Soto, left, and Reid Leopold, right, attempt to tear the ball away from Van Vleck's Orrin King, center, during the second quarter of Tuesday night's Class 2A regional quarterfinal game.

    Hallettsville's Dailon Soto, left, and Reid Leopold, right, attempt to tear the ball away from Van Vleck's Orrin King, center, during the second quarter of Tuesday night's Class 2A regional quarterfinal game.

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    Hallettsville's Jamario Grounds puts up a shot over Van Vleck's Dustin Smith during the first quarter of Tuesday night's Class 2A regional quarterfinal game at Victoria East High School. The Brahmas defeated the Leopards 71-44 and will advance to the regional tournament.

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    Hallettsville's Dazaun Silgero puts up a layup on a breakaway during the first quarter of Tuesday night's Class 2A regional quarterfinal game against Van Vleck at Victoria East High School. The Brahmas defeated the Leopards 71-44 and will advance to the regional tournament.

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    Hallettsville's Dalton Herrington knocks away an attempted shot by Van Vleck's Marcus Brown during the second quarter of Tuesday night's Class 2A regional quarterfinal game at Victoria East High School.

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    Hallettsville's Reid Leopold gets a hug from his cousin, cheerleader and Hallettsville junior Morgan Mitchon after the Brahmas defeated the Van Vleck Leopards 71-44 Tuesday night in their Class 2A regional quarterfinal game at Victoria East.

    Once the Bulls started running, there was no stopping them.

    Hallettsville pushed the pace and Van Vleck right along with it en route to a 71-44 Class 2A regional quarterfinal win on Tuesday night at the Victoria East gym.

    "We kept up the intensity," said Hallettsville senior Dazaun Silgero. "A lot of intensity. We had to keep the pressure on them. We knew they couldn't run with us."

    The Brahmas turned a one-point deficit at the end of the first quarter into a nine-point lead by halftime, and made the contest a runaway by the third quarter.

    Hallettsville improved to 24-8 and advanced to the regional tournament for the fourth time.

    The Brahmas will meet Aransas Pass, a 73-52 winner over Universal City Randolph on Tuesday, in a semifinal game Friday at 6 p.m. at the Seguin High School gym.

    "The biggest thing we wanted to do tonight is get the game going up and down the floor as fast as we could because we thought our bench was a little stronger than theirs and that's the kind of ball that we want to play is up tempo," said first-year Hallettsville coach Scott Cottenoir. "We knew they were going to try and slow us down, but we just told the kids be headstrong and get down the floor."

    Van Vleck (31-3) led 17-16 after the first quarter, but Hallettsville outscored the Leopards 16-2 to open the second quarter, while holding the Leopards without a field goal for 4:04.

    "It was just the intensity," said sophomore Trent McGee. "We pulled it together and we went really fast and that's what our game plan is. We just move and that's what we do. It's like a track meet."

    The Brahmas pressured the ball and double teamed Van Vleck's Kalvin Singletary in the post. Singletary scored 18 points, but only six in the second half.

    "I think both the pressure and the double team really affected him," McGee said. "He couldn't move with us up and down the court very well and the double team was great. Jamario (Grounds) and Dazaun did a great job helping out."

    Van Vleck didn't make a field goal from the 2:02 mark of the second quarter until 3:15 was left in the third and Hallettsville extended its lead to 23 points.

    "They just did a good job defensively and we couldn't buy a basket," said Van Vleck coach Joseph Davis. "It was like there was a lid on the top tonight."

    Grounds led Hallettsville with 20 points, Silgero had 19, McGee had 14 and Dalton Herrington added 12.

    "By far, it's the best we've played all year long," Cottenoir said. "In my wildest dreams, I could have never thought we would beat them that bad. I figured it would be a 4- or 5-point ballgame and really it might even come down to the last possession."



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