Marcus (37-2) survived a furious comeback from Lakeview Centennial (38-1) to win the Texas Class 5A championship in a battle of nationally ranked squads 40-38 Saturday evening in Austin.
Marcus sprinted to a 29-9 halftime lead, spurred by a whopping 19-2 blowout in the second quarter including 11 from 2012 top 30 recruit Marcus Smart.
But Centennial was far from ready to lie down, turning the tables on their opponent in the third quarter, outscoring Marcus 22-2 to tie the game at 31.
Centennial, behind a 22-0 run, built a five-point lead at one point, but Smart, a 6-foot-4 guard/forward, showed why he is considered one of the best players in Texas. Finishing with 16 points, 11 rebounds, and four steals, Smart did a bit of everything in leading Marcus to the win.
Nick Banyard missed two free throws with 19 seconds left giving Centennial one final shot. However, forward Chris Jones, a North Texas Recruit, missed a jumper to tie with three seconds left giving Marcus the win.
Jones led all Centennial players with 17 points in the losing effort.
With the win, Marcus is an early favorite for the 2012 national title as it returns four starters from this year's squad.