Coach Ron Stark and the Fairview Panthers will play Midland for the Class B state championship. (Rick HIckman / American Press)
Last Modified: Friday, March 14, 2014 1:19 PMStrange to say, but the seventh time was the charm for the Fairview Panthers.
After six tries, Fairview (33-5) will get the opportunity to win its first state championship in boys basketball at 6 p.m. today against the No. 2-seed Midland Rebels (27-3).
Fairview upset No. 1-seed Florien 60-56 Wednesday afternoon. Midland ran away from No. 3 Anacoco late and won 55-38 behind Darren Arcenaux, who had 20 points and 12 boards, and Jake Gautreaux, who had 16 points and slowed down Anacoco’s Will Reese in the second half after he scored 17 first-half points.
However, Fairview has its own inside-outside combination to boast with Grant Dowies, whose hot scoring carried him to 25 points, including five 3-pointers in the semifinals, and Brennan Maddox, who accounted for 18 points and 16 rebounds.
The battle in the paint between Maddox and Arceneaux looks to play a big role in deciding today’s Class B championship game at Burton Coliseum.
“It’s a very good matchup and both of those kids play very hard. Sometimes when you get big matchups like they kind cancel each other out,” Fairview head coach Ron Starks said. “Hopefully somebody will step up for us in case that does happen.”
Midland beat Fairview twice in the regular season, a fact that Midland head coach Todd Briley expects to play no role this time around.
“We beat them twice, but I feel like this will be anybody’s game,” he said.
For all the school’s success with 10 girls state championships, including the last eight in a row in Class B, the opportunity for a boys crown brings something new for Fairview.
“Regardless, we’re bringing something back to Fairview and the community of Grant,” Starks said. “That’s exciting.”