The stands were predominately more gold than crimson, but the McKinney Boyd boys and girls basketball teams proved to be tough contenders in Tuesday night’s rivalry games at McKinney High. The Lady Broncos defeated the Lionettes 49-36 and clinched a playoff spot for the UIL postseason with a 4-6 record in District 10-5A. Although Boyd’s boys team were ahead eight points at halftime, the Lions came back hot in the second half to win 77-65.
Both girls teams from Boyd and MHS (6-4 in District 10-5A) have secured spots for playoffs, which start next week. Although disappointed with the loss, Lionettes head coach Debbie Harris was happy for the Lady Broncos’ last minute entry to playoffs.
“We knew Boyd’s season was on the line and that they were going to come here with a lot of energy, and we just didn’t handle the pressure well,” Harris said. “I’m proud of Boyd and they certainly deserve it. They played better than us and that’s what it comes down to.”
Natalie Maina scored 13 points and Jordynn Hernandez added 11 for the Lady Broncos, who finished the season 4-6 in 10-5A, not only sneaking into the playoffs, which begin early next week, but also exacting revenge for a 58-43 loss to MHS on Jan. 17.
Mariah Mitchell and Jazsmin Nelson each scored eight points to lead MHS.
Although Boyd’s boys team lost the game and has had a rough season without a district win, Lions coach Wes Watson agreed with Harris’ sentiments and praised the rivalry between all three McKinney schools over the years. Watson said he is proud to have won the final game against Boyd for the foreseeable future since Boyd is moving to a the newly created Class 6A for the 2014-15 season. But Watson also noted the amount of respect McKinney coaches have for each other and the positive effect that has on their players.
“Some of these guys have been playing against each other since they were kids. Being able to play fellow members of this community brings out the best of each team,” Watson said. “[Boyd] was in a tough spot this year, but Coach Burton kept them battling. We really had to dig our claws into this one to come out on top.”
Remington Edwards led the Lions with 20 points. Drew Hammons and Jontrell Rocquemore added 15 each.Marcus Cross scored 10. The Lions improved to 2-6 in 10-5A with both victories coming over Boyd, including a 44-40 win on Jan. 17 at Boyd. On Tuesday, the Broncos led 34-26 at halftime but MHS cut it ti 48-47 going into the fourth quarter and outscored Boyd 30-17 in the final eight minutes. Colton Head led Boyd with 20 points. Bryon Harrison added 14. Boyd fell to 0-8 in district. Both teams have two more regular season games remaining. MHS has a huge game against Plano (3-5), the team it’s chasing for the No. 4 playoff seed, on Friday at Plano.
MHS’s jeering student section certainly didn’t hide their feelings for their crosstown rival, but the evening was a sufficient sendoff for Boyd. The seemingly constant district rezoning has shuffled the crosstown rivalries between Boyd, High and North over the years, but players and coaches remain confident in the appeal of the inner-city contests.
For junior Emily Oleson the Lionettes’ motto, “Family Always, Team First” rang true this game more than most . Oleson has friends on Boyd’s team including junior Emily Disney, but when it came to game time her focus was with her teammates.
“We had to take care of our business as a team,” Oleson said. “So even if she’s a friend, she’s ‘Emily’ off the court and ‘#25’ on the court.”
The game also featured McKinney High’s Senior Night where family, friends and fans celebrated the graduating players’ final home game of the season. Each of the players has his or her own path ahead, but all agree that their time with the McKinney basketball programs has prepared them for the future. Senior Jazsmin Nelson plans to play at San Jacinto College in the Fall and attributes her experience as a Lionette to any future success.
“I’ve definitely grown as a person and become an all-around better individual because of my time at McKinney High,” MHS’ Nelson said. “I owe so much to my teammates, the coaches and organization as a whole.”
Photos by TSB’s Sawyer Erickson