Highland Park is happy to return to the playoffs after missing out last season, but the reward for the Scots won’t be easy.
HP will meet Irving MacArthur at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Lewisville High School. The Cardinals (22-7), who finished second in District 9-6A during the regular season, are led by Andrew Jones, a McDonald’s All-American who has committed to Texas.
The Scots (22-9) enter postseason play with momentum after winning their final two regular-season games. On Feb. 16, HP topped Richardson Pearce 74-67, which swapped the two teams in the District 10-6A standings. The Scots are the third seed, while the Mustangs dropped to fourth.
MacArthur reached the Class 6A state tournament last season thanks in large part to Jones, a guard who is averaging almost 30 points per game this season. He scored 46 points in the regular-season finale against Irving, and a couple of weeks before that, he scored at least 36 points in back-to-back games against state-ranked Skyline and playoff-bound Jesuit.
The Cardinals had their three-game winning streak snapped during a 71-69 loss to Triple A Academy on Saturday in a playoff warm-up game.
The Scots rely on a more balanced attack that likely will need to shoot well from the perimeter to spring the upset. Stefon Jauregui, Pete Davis, and Will Enzor all have been frequent double-figure scorers for HP.
It will be the first postseason game at the 6A level for the Scots, and it might also be their last, as HP will drop down to 5A next season.
The winner of Tuesday’s Region II bi-district game will meet either Killeen Shoemaker (31-2) or Rockwall (15-16) in the area round.