There is still one District 23-5A game yet to play for both the Travis Tigers and the Bush Broncos before the two teams meet for the third time this season, but to say that the focus is already on their February 4 matchup at Wheeler Field House would be the understatement of the year.
Bush (24-5) and Travis (23-4) are the cream of the Class 5A crop in the Houston area this season and their previous two meetings this year have proven how comparable the two squads are.
The teams are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 among the area’s 5A teams and are ranked behind only No. 1 Episcopal High School (SPC) among all Houston-area teams in the latest RCSSports.com poll.
The Broncos are currently ranked above Travis, purely on the basis that they have managed to capture wins in both the previous games between the schools.
They knocked off the Tigers in the championship game of the Outback Tournament in December, 57-49, after rallying from a one-point deficit at halftime of that game.
Bush then pulled out a come-from-behind overtime win, 61-58, when the two met for the first time in district play on January 11 at Hopson Field House after trailing by six in the fourth quarter.
Travis arguably has the greater individual talent of the two teams, or at least the more heralded talent.
The Tigers are led by twin brothers Andrew and Aaron Harrison, who have committed to play next year at Kentucky. Aaron averages 25 points per game, while Andrew, who runs the point for Travis, contributes 14 per contest.
Andrew Harrison scored 36 points in the December game against Bush.
But Bush has been led by junior forward Kelly Oubre, who averages over 23 points per game for the season and has averaged 22 points in the two games against Travis.
Oubre has been complemented by senior guard Shawndre Jones, who hit the game-tying field goal that sent the January 11 game into overtime and then sank a three-point jumper in overtime to help secure the victory for the Broncos.
As important and impressive as that win was for Bush, it only served to draw the Broncos into a first-place tie with Travis. Thanks to an earlier district upset loss to Elkins, Bush was a game behind the Tigers in the standings before their first meeting.
Now, both squads are 9-1 in district and expected to take care of business against their respective opponents (Travis vs. Clements, Bush vs. Austin) on Friday night, setting up the Monday night game as the determining factor in which of the two earns a 23-5A title before the playoffs begin on February 18.
Game time is scheduled for 7:00 p.m., but is the third scheduled contest at Wheeler on Monday. The arena should have plenty of time to fill to the rafters.