MORRIS — University High School's basketball team built a 14-6 first-quarter lead Wednesday night, but the Pioneers managed only 26 points the rest of the way in a 56-40 loss to Plano in the semifinals of the Class 3A Morris Regional.
Sixth-seeded Plano (15-14) outscored fourth-seeded U High 38-18 in the second half, including 23-7 in the fourth quarter.
Ka'Jon Smith led Plano with 20 points and Keegan Shettles had 14. U High, which ended its season 11-19, received eight points each from Alex Wood and Nate Torres.
"They were a pretty physical team and I think that took us out of some of the stuff we wanted to do," U High coach Andrew McDowell said. "Even at 14-6 it was kind of a lackluster effort on our part. It took us some time to adjust."
Torres had seven rebounds and Wood five for U High, which played its first season in the rugged Central State Eight Conference this year.
"It's tough to end the season this way," McDowell said. "It was a tough season in general. It was a new year coming into a new conference. We were kind of hanging our hats on the postseason and regionals.
"It really hurts because we went out not playing our brand of basketball. We had some uncharacteristic mistakes. We did things we hadn't done all year. It's a learning experience for our young guys. For our seniors, it's going to stick with them for a long time."