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Deer win OT thriller to clinch playoff berth (w/Photo Gallery)

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Sports

deercelebrateIN SPORTS
With their proverbial backs to the wall, the Deer Park boys basketball team found a way into the postseason in an thrilling 49-41 overtime victory over Sam Rayburn Friday. Next up for the Deer is Atascocita Monday night in Channelview in the first round of the playoffs. Click the photos to start a gallery of the action from Deer Park Photos!

ZachWalkerDeer Park's Zach Walker (23) drives to the basket for two during the team's 49-41 overtime win over Rayburn. Click the photos to start a gallery of the action from Deer Park Photos! Photos by Andrew Pressley/Deer Park Photos.After a slow start to its district campaign, the Deer boys basketball team had a fast and furious finish to its regular season, forcing a tiebreaker game with Sam Rayburn for the fourth and final playoff spot in 22-6A. If a one-game winner-takes-all scenario wasn’t enough flair for the dramatics, the Deer earned the victory in a 49-41 overtime thriller.

“I’m just glad were able to find away. Our best two scorers were in foul trouble all night,” said Deer Park Head Coach Darren Chandler, referring to Dylan Bradshaw and Tristan Ikpe. “To find a way really shows how these guys have come along and their character.”

While that duo was neutralized, the Deer found its spark through Zach Walker who lit up the Texans for 17 points to lead the team. The Deer Park bench also came through as Cade Parham had nine points off the bench while Gil Martinez had six points in productive minutes rotating onto the floor. Bradshaw also had six points.

“They gave us big minutes,” Chandler said. “Zach is an energy guy. He made some big plays at the right time tonight.”

Walker said his performance was indicative of a Deer Park team effort to defeat a Texans squad that swept the season series from the Deer.

“It’s like that for us every game. Tonight I just happened to be in the right position tonight to get the open shots and easy layups,” Walker said.

The Deer had to put on a late season charge, winning four of its last five games to force the tiebreaker with the Texans.

“We had to put in more effort, put ourselves in a position to be here. We got on a roll at a good time,” he said.

Deer Park is now 21-12 on the year as it faces off against Atascocita (22-9, 13-1), champions of District 21-6A. That game will be at 7 p.m. Monday night in Channelview and broadcasted live on the Deer Network.