SAN ANTONIO – For the second straight season, the Cole boys basketball team will play for the UIL Class 3A State title.
The defending champs knocked out Hitchcock in the state semifinals on Thursday afternoon, 53-49. Senior guard Trey Blackmore led the way with a game-high 23 points, while fellow seniors Dre Ray and Silas Livingston added 13 and 11 respectively. This marks the third straight season that Cole has won a game at the state level, but their next opponent might be their toughest test yet: the Dallas Madison Trojans.
CLASS 3A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP - COLE (31-8) VS. DALLAS MADISON (36-7)
There’s a lot of history between these two teams on boys basketball’s biggest stage.
Back in 2019, Dallas Madison defeated Cole 43-33 in the Class 3A State semifinals en route to their fourth state title. In 2020, the Cougars and Trojans won each of their semifinal games to set up a rematch with the championship on the line, but the game was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, Dallas Madison failed to qualify for the tournament, and Cole took advantage by defeating Little River Academy and Tatum to secure their first state title since 1989.
This year, Cole faced Dallas Madison in the regular season. Playing at the Texas Hoop Fest in Duncanville on Nov. 26, the Trojans defeated the Cougars 60-49. Livingston scored a team-high 23 points, while Blackmore added 16. Now, the programs with the two most recent Class 3A state titles will go head-to-head for the 2022 crown.
“I think a lot of people have wanted to see that game for year,” Cole head coach Noe Cantu said. “We definitely are looking forward to the opportunity. We told our guys when we lost to them up in Dallas that we felt like we were going to be here and they were going to be here. We’ve been preparing for that. We’ve been working towards that goal. It’s finally here, and we’ll be ready to go.”
“It definitely helped us a lot, seeing their team early in the season before you play them again,” Blackmore said. “It helped a lot last year when we played London earlier in the season and we played them next in the Regional semifinals. We know what their guys can do, and we’re going to try to come out and have a great game plan.”
“They were a tough team, but I feel like at the beginning of the season, we were kind of a newer team and we were still finding our roles for different guys,” Livingston said. “I feel like it’s going to be a tougher game come Saturday.”
Cole takes on Dallas Madison for the UIL Class 3A State title in the Alamodome on Saturday at 10 a.m.