Lions Bring Home The Title

By Yolande Lezine
Updated: March 16, 2009

PawHOUSTON — The Yates Lions brought home the Class 4A State Championship title with a 94-78 victory over Dallas Kimball in front of a crowd of 15,521 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.

Yates claimed their first University Interscholastic League championship in school history. It’s their sixth state title overall and first since 1949 when they were in the Prairie View Interscholastic League.

Their 94-point output was a UIL Class 4A state championship game record for a single team, beating Beaumont Hebert’s 88 points in 1980. The teams also combined for the highest score in a 4A title game, and Kimball’s 78 points were the most for a losing team in the 4A title game.

“There have been great teams that have come before us that were good but never got over the hump,” Yates guard Darius Gardner said. “This team had the mindset to get over the hump and win state- and we did that.”

Yates, 34-1 proved to everyone that no one could beat them. Dallas Kimball, 31-10, led after scoring the first basket of the game. However, the Lions Joseph Young came back with his fisrt of seven three pointers, and Yates never looked back.

Young, who scored 29 points in the game, was named the Tournament Most Valuable Player. Gardner added 20 points, nine assists, and six steals, while teammate Brandon Peters dazzled the crowd with a variety of dunks in route to scoring 18 points.

Yates completed a journey that started last year after they lost a huge lead to the Wheatley Wildcats in the Region III, Class 4A title game at the Merrell Center in Katy, Texas. They were the heavily favored team to win it all.

“To make this trip to Austin and dominate and win every game by double digits, it feels real good,” senior center Brandon Lee said. Yates made it a first for Third Ward and with the talent that they have coming back, there is definitely room for more.