Friday night’s District 7-2A boys basketball game between Episcopal and University High has two special story lines.
Second-ranked University (26-2, 10-0) can clinch the District 7-2A title with a victory. Episcopal (22-8, 9-2) could claim a share of the title with a victory and a second University loss at Runnels on Tuesday.
Also, the Mays brothers — Episcopal’s Stan and University’s Skylar — will square off for the final time in the regular season.
Varsity game time is set for approximately 7:30 p.m. at UHS.
Episcopal senior Stan Mays (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) and University freshman Skylar Mays (6-1, 170) are key players for their respective schools.
Stan Mays began his high school career at University and averaged a team-high 13.1 points as a freshman. He transferred to Episcopal and sat out as a sophomore.
Stan Mays is a two-year starter for the Knights. He’s upped his scoring from 14 ppg as a junior to 22.1 ppg with 6.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists. He’s shooting 47 percent from 3-point range and hitting 83 percent of his free throws.
Skylar Mays (9 ppg, 7.5 apg, 4 rpg, 2.5 steals) is a second-year starter at point guard. His three-to-one assist to turnover ratio is considered very good. The younger Mays is one of four freshmen starters for the Cubs, who defeated EHS 69-54 in the first round of district play at Episcopal as Skylar had 15 assists and two points. The Cubs have won every district game by 12 or more points.
“Skylar is really good,” Episcopal coach Chris Beckman said. “I like the fact he’s a true point guard. He gets his teammates involved and gets them open. He’s the key to their team.
“Stan is having a very good year for us. He can really shoot the ball under pressure. He added 10 pounds of muscle from last year. He can put the ball on the floor now and get to the rim. He’s our leading rebounder. Both Skylar and Stan are excellent students.”
“The sky is the limit for Skylar,” University coach Joe Spencer said. “His basketball IQ is through the roof. He’s gotten quicker as he’s gotten older. Skylar is truly a pass-first point guard. We’d like him to shoot more. Stan is a good player and can really shoot the ball.”
Stan Mays said he worked extra hard over the summer to become a better individual player to help the EHS team, which lost four starters from last year.
“I’m driving to the hoop better,” Stan Mays said. “I’m shooting a higher percentage than last year. My teammates have been great this year. We think we have the team that will do well in the playoffs.
“I want my little brother to do as well as he can in the game. We’re pulling for each other and also competing against each other. I’m more focused on competing against the University team.
“Skylar does a great job of making his teammates better, and I’m trying to do the same.”
Skylar Mays said he’s looking forward to the game.
“There’s nothing more fun than playing a sibling,” Skylar Mays said. “Episcopal beat us twice last year, but we got them the last time we played. We have a great team that plays hard and smart.
“I could care less if I score. I play hard and look to penetrate and kick to the open man. I’ve got great teammates around me.”
When their teammates aren’t around, the brothers play against each other. Their one-and-one battles in the family’s driveway continue to be more and more competitive.
“Stan usually muscles me up and beats me,” Skylar Mays said.
“We haven’t played one-on-one in a while,” Stan Mays said. “When we do play, it’s getting harder to beat him as he’s gotten older.”
“University is by far the best team in the district,” Beckman said. “All five guys can score, and their length and athleticism is impressive.”
Episcopal’s has its smallest team in years. Sophomores Paul Johnson (12.5 ppg) and Spencer Kleinpeter (10 ppg) help pace the Knights.
“We’ve surprised a lot of people,” Beckman said. “We lost a lot from last year. Nobody expected us to be 22-8.”