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‘Unfinished business’: UT commit Arterio Morris, Kimbell boys basketball hope to win the state title after last year’s heartbreaker

The Knights rank #2 in the state for Class 5A.

DALLAS — They say they're not out for revenge.

But when you ask the Kimball boys basketball team who they would rather face in the state championship game, should they make it back this year...

"Beaumont."

The Knights are ranked No. 2 in Texas for Class 5A, and it's easy to see why.

Their lineup is full of talent, headlined by five-star recruit Arterio Morris.

The 6'4" senior guard is a McDonald's All-American and Texas Longhorn commit.

Kimball head coach Nick Smith thinks Morris has the potential to reach the game's highest level and likens his composed explosiveness to budding NBA superstar Ja Morant.

"My mindset is, I need my teammates more than I need myself," Morris said on how his game has grown and evolved. "So once I get them going, okay everything will open up for me." 

Morris has a strong supporting cast, including rangy three-star Clemson commit Chauncey Gibson and unsigned (but not for long) Trae Clayton.

After stops at South Oak Cliff and Faith Family, Clayton arrived to Kimball in time for his senior season and to reunite with young men he's been playing ball with since he was 8 years old. 

Meanwhile, Morris had offers and interest from most of college basketball's elite, but all it took was one visit to Austin.

Paired with his relationship with UT head coach Chris Beard, Morris made his decision to be a Longhorn. 

Until then, Morris and the Knights have "unfinished business."

"That's the motto," Morris admitted.

"I'm not going to lie, I do think about it," Smith echoed. "I do think there's unfinished business."

The Knights are on a mission to avenge what happened to them last year in the state championship.

Kimball was seconds away from winning the Class 5A state title, when Beaumont United senior and Houston commit Terrance Arceneaux hit an acrobatic three-pointer at the buzzer to tie the game, 64-64.

In overtime, Kimball was again seconds away from the championship when Arceneaux stepped into another buzzer-beating three-pointer.

This time to win the game, 71-70.

"I knew it was going in before he let it go," Smith recalled. "That shot played in my mind, man, for a while."

Nearly one year later, the only team ranked ahead of Kimball in Class 5A:

Beaumont.

The stage is set for a potential rematch in San Antonio.

"I think it would be another epic battle."

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