Thursday , 17 August 2017

Basketball Spotlight: Mental Mistakes Doom Boyd in Loss

boyd logoFriday the 13th wasn’t kind to the McKinney Boyd boys basketball team – but for that matter, it has been a rough start to the entire 2013-14 season for the Broncos.

And that rough start continued Friday as Justin Northwest rolled Boyd 71-49 at Boyd.

“We didn’t come out to compete today,” Boyd head coach Jason Burton said.

Boyd fell into an early hole, allowing Northwest to go on a 18-0 run in the first quarter, scoring 28 points in the first eight minutes of action.

Burton said slow starts have been a trend for his club all season, and it wasn’t until late in the second half he saw his team begin to push and execute.

Boyd struggled getting the ball across half court, as the Texans pressed the Broncos into several turnovers and bad passes. Burton said enough games have passed and his team should know how to handle presses, because there were opportunities to score on the back-end of the press.

“Early on, our mindset isn’t where it needs to be, and we need to find a way to change that,” Burton said.

Boyd’s 2013 team has three seniors – Nick Barber, Byron Harrison and Al Hernandez – and with youth, Burton said the struggles so far this season have been more mental than physical, adding once his team finds a way to become stronger mentally, things will turn around.

“At some point our execution is going to get better,” he said.

And the lack of execution was evident defensively Friday, as the Texans’ shooters were not pressured, which Burton says goes against everything he wants his defense to stand for.

He said he wants defenders to pressure the ball, but Boyd played off Northwest’s perimeter shooters and not tight enough in the lane, allowing shooters clean releases and open looks at the basket.

When asked what he thought of his team’s perimeter defense, Burton’s response was simple: “There wasn’t any.”

“They were able to do whatever they wanted to…We didn’t do a good job of making those guys feel uncomfortable,” he said.

Another cause for concern for the Broncos was their inability to bring down rebounds and capitalize on second-chance shots, with Burton saying his team is trying to out-jump defenders instead of boxing out and playing their positions.

“Until we see some carryover into the game, were going to continue to get beat on the glass, and the story of that game was turnovers and second-chance shots, which unfortunately is the story of a lot of games,” said Burton, who noted rebounding is an emphasis during the week in practice, but still an area that needs to improve.

Unfortunately, it would have taken more than rebounding to save Boyd, as they fell behind 28-9 at the end of the first quarter. Northwest would continue to pile it on in the second quarter, extending its lead to 48-19 at the half.

The second half, however, was a different ballgame, with Boyd winning the final 16 minutes 30-23.

Colton Head led Boyd with 16 points, while Harrison chipped in 8 points. Hernandez and Harper contributed 6 points each, but Harper appeared to injure his left thumb late in the first half.

The Broncos’ record dropped to 1-9 – the lone win coming against Fort Worth Eastern Hills in November – but Burton said he is excited to see what could be next year, with a majority of the team coming back.

And a team that has played one of the toughest schedules in the area.

Burton said all but two teams Boyd played will most likely make the playoffs, and every team Boyd has played has at least one player committed to play college basketball – including Irving MacArthur point guard Kevin Booze, who is one of the best basketball prospects in the state.

“These guys have seen some of the best-of-the-best and they’re out there competing,” he said. “So, their comfort level as we move on, and go into next year – that’s what I’m excited about – they’re getting experience out of the way.”

He added next year he will see a lot of “battle tested” juniors and sophomores on the court.

The Broncos will host Flower Mound Marcus on Tuesday at 8 p.m.

Boyd picked up two games due to cancellations caused by the winter storm earlier this month, as Boyd will host Denton Ryan Friday and travel to play Wylie Dec. 31.

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