By Mike Bruu, TSB Sports Editor
The OrthoTexas Invitational tipped off Friday afternoon with a quadruple-header at McKinney Boyd High School. All three MISD boys basketball teams took the court on day one of the tournament, as well as the out-of-town schools of Little Elm, Rockwall, Lovejoy, Richardson Pearce, and Frisco Centennial.
The MISD schools went 3-0 on the day, with North and Boyd winning their games by more than 10 points and MHS knocking off Lovejoy by six points. Little Elm defeated Rockwall in blowout fashion to start off the tournament.
With the McKinney schools all winning on Friday, one MISD School is guaranteed to make the championship game on Saturday night. In the winners bracket, Little Elm will face off with McKinney at 10:35 a.m., while North and Boyd will do battle at 1:45 p.m. The winners will tip-off at 8:30 p.m. to determine the tournament champion.
Below are full recaps and scores from Friday’s action, plus what lies ahead on Saturday at the OrthoTexas Invitational:
Little Elm 79
The Lions took the court for the first time in two weeks on Friday afternoon, looking to get some things corrected before the district action rolls around. While Red Shannon struggled from the perimeter and the team shot 62% from the free throw line, McKinney used a 20-point fourth quarter to stave off the scrappy Lovejoy Leopards to win 55-49.
After Lovejoy led by as much as eight in the third quarter, the Lions began to get the ball into the paint and inch their way back into the game. Despite Shannon and Connor Fuentes, two of the team’s starting guards, fouling out in the fourth quarter, the Lions were able to maintain a lead in the final minutes after Remington Edwards knocked down two free throws to make it 46-44.
Lions senior forward Darrin Donaldson made three of his eight points in the final three minutes to make it 49-44, but the Leopards would not go away easily. Lovejoy cut the lead to just one, before McKinney’s Raynell Denny made a contested layup to make it a three-point game.
The Leopards would get four more chances at the basket but came up short each time, only managing a late free throw to make it a six-point loss.
McKinney’s defense was a huge positive in the game, forcing 25 turnovers and throwing off Lovejoy’s offensive rhythm for most of the game. Their stifling full court press suffocated the Leopards, one of the team’s main reasons they are off to a 12-4 start this season.
Edwards came off the bench and led the team in scoring with 15 points, including four crucial free throws in the final three minutes of the game. Denny finished with 11 points, while Lovejoy’s Trevor Eckard led the Leopards in scoring with 13 points.
McKinney will face Little Elm in the first winners bracket game on Saturday. The game will tip-off at 10:35 a.m. following the Rockwall-Lovejoy contest.
JJ Pearce 46
North head coach Darryll Craft said after last Friday’s game versus Wylie that he was looking to get some kids playing time and play well at the same time.
The Bulldogs accomplished both goals versus JJ Pearce on their way to a 13-point victory on Friday night. North outscored Pearce 41-23 in the second and third quarters combined, using some good inside-out offense to build a comfortable lead heading into the fourth quarter.
After trailing at the end of the first quarter 17-12, North took the lead in the second quarter and never looked back. North’s Julion Pearre had the hot hand for the Bulldogs, scoring all of his game-high 18 points in the second and third quarters, including 10 in the third alone. Jola Otubu continued his hot hand from the perimeter, adding 12 points for North off the bench with nine of them coming in the third quarter. Tanner Little was the only other Bulldog player in double figures, finishing with 11 points.
North improved to 9-7 with the win and will face crosstown rival Boyd on Saturday afternoon in the second winners bracket game. The action tips off at 1:45 p.m. following the Pearce-Frisco Centennial game.
Frisco Centennial 35
The Boyd boys basketball program continued its hot streak on Friday night, defeating Centennial 48-35 to win its seventh game in a row to improve to 14-2 on the year.
Despite 83 combined points in the game, both offenses played extremely conservatively, often times taking up nearly 30 seconds before getting off a shot. At the half, Boyd took a 21-14 lead into the locker room, with Michael Grant leading the Broncos in scoring with four points.
In the third quarter, the Titans took over and outscored the Broncos 14-8, led by Xander Peterson and Nolan Ritchey, who had four and three points, respectively. Centennial would go on to take the lead for the first time since leading 7-6 in the first quarter, but the lead was short lived as Boyd tied it at 35 with under six minutes remaining in the game.
What looked like a game that was destined for overtime quickly turned into a blowout. The Broncos forced five late Centennial turnovers in the final three minutes to score the final 13 points of the game, including all five of his points from Manney Collins.
Grant led the Broncos in scoring with 10 points, while 10 players on the roster scored at least two points for Boyd. In the fourth quarter, the Broncos outscored the Titans 19-7 to seal the opening round tournament win and lock up a spot to face crosstown rival North in the second winners bracket game on Saturday.
The Boyd-North game tips off at 1:45 p.m., following Pearce-Centennial.
9 a.m. – Game 5:
Rockwall vs. Lovejoy
10:35 a.m. – Game 6
Little Elm vs. McKinney
12:10 p.m. – Game 7
Pearce vs. Centennial
1:45 p.m. – Game 8
North vs. Boyd
3:30 p.m. – Game 9
7th Place Game (G5 Loser vs. G7 Loser)
5:10 p.m. – Game 10
5th Place Game (G5 Winner vs. G7 Winner)
6:50 p.m. – Game 11
3rd Place Game (G6 Loser vs. G8 Loser)
8:30 p.m. – Game 12
Championship Game (G6 Winner vs. G8 Winner)
Follow Mike @TSBSportsBruu for tournament updates and live scores from the OrthoTexas Invitational at McKinney Boyd!