Friday , 28 October 2016

Basketball Spotlight: Cowboys Ride Into McKinney on a Mission

Sometimes, it just isn’t a team’s night.

And Tuesday at McKinney High School, it was certainly not the Lions’ as Coppell routed McKinney 82-62 in boys basketball – and it wasn’t even that close.

“It got ugly out there for a while,” MHS head coach Wes Watson said.

The Cowboys built a lead that expanded to as many as 76-40 early in the third quarter, which was sparked by a 28-10 third quarter run. Coppell owned the second half, winning the final 16 minutes 43-34.

The game was within striking distance for MHS going into the third quarter as it trailed the Cowboys 39-28. McKinney’s strong start was due to a strong defensive effort in the first half, continually pressuring shooters in its man-style defense and grabbing defensive rebounds.

In fact, McKinney, which fell to 8-11, led Coppell 19-15 after the first quarter.

Coppell, however, would move away from a soft zone and begin pressuring McKinney with a half-court trap, causing MHS to turn the ball over entering the half court and put up poor shots against a swarming defense.

“That changed the game,” Watson said of Coppell’s move to the halfcourt trap, which caused the Lions to score just 4 points in the first 4 minutes of the third quarter.

The Cowboys (16-6), now shutting the Lions down with their suffocating trap defense, would take charge offensively as four players were in double-figures.

Cody Carver led Coppell with 13 points, Brandon Watson had 12 points and Chad Kaiser contributed 9 points.

Coppell’s shots continued to fall as McKinney went as cold as ice, especially early in the second half when Coppell began to run away with the game.

“We really need them,” Watson said of his team’s shots that didn’t fall Tuesday.

Despite the game’s lopsided outcome, Watson said he was proud of how his team continued to fight and show a great deal of fight and pride, not giving up despite being down by 30 or more.

Watson said the grit and fight his team showed tonight was a “trademark” of how he wants his team to play.

Junior Marcus Cross led MHS with 11 points, senior Jontrell Rocquemore scored 11 points while junior Preston Smith tallied 10 points.

Up next for the Lions is a meeting with a powerful Plano West squad, which is 11-5 and now ranked No. 10 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches rankings for Texas-5A.

The Wolves also house one of the more dynamic scorers in the Dallas area, as D.J. Hogg is the No. 4 scorer in the area, averaging 20.5 points per game through 16 games.

Watson said there is no denying West’s talent on the court, but McKinney will have to keep position on Plano’s talent, especially in the post where he said it’ll be crucial to limit West’s second-chance opportunities at the net by controlling the defensive glass.

Watson said McKinney’s 10-5A opener will certainly be a challenge, and this West squad, “certainly fits the bill.”

McKinney-Plano West is scheduled for a 7:30 tip-off at Plano West.

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