After a heart-breaking end to its District 6-6A opener against Lewisville, the Coppell boys basketball team left nothing to chance Tuesday against upset-minded Marcus.
The Cowboys’ zone defense smothered the Marauders at every turn early on, resulting in just 16 points allowed in the first half and an early cushion that Coppell rode until the final buzzer for a 72-43 win to improve to 1-1 in conference action. The Marauders, fresh off a double-digit victory over Hebron, are also now 1-1.
“I was proud of the effort. We talked a lot after the Lewisville game about doing a better job of staying in front of the ball and shut down opportunities,” said Clint Schnell, Coppell head coach. “I thought we came out and did a good job of that tonight and got them frustrated and out of rhythm.”
The result was just just four made field goals allowed by the Cowboys in the first half, who walled off driving lanes and generated turnovers to ignite a flurry of transition offense. Junior Cale Martens was the lone Marauder to convert multiple shots from the field during the first two quarters on his way to a team-high 11 points in the loss.
Coppell sophomore Ryan Agarwal, meanwhile, outscored Marcus' entire team in the first half, 18-16, including four makes from beyond the arc.
“It’s been fun to watch him develop,” Schnell said. “Last year, he was more of a spot-up shooter and this year he has added the ability to take it off the bounce. He’s a lot more comfortable this year.”
Agarwal’s hot start paced a 37-16 halftime lead for the Cowboys, who benefited from 13 points from senior Adam Moussa and 10 from senior Brandon Taylor. Sophomore Anthony Black added seven points, plus five second-half assists.
It was a welcome sight for Schnell and Co. after Coppell’s hopes of an early statement win in 6-6A play were quashed by a monstrous night from Lewisville sophomore Keyonte George, who scored 35 points and hit a game-winner to down the Cowboys, 62-61.
“Friday was an emotional game and an absolute battle to the end. Our kids took it hard, but we talked about it Saturday after practice about letting it go and knowing there were plenty of other games down the road,” Schnell said. “The next game is the biggest game of the year and I could tell after Monday’s practice that they’d come out ready to play.”
George scores 1,000th point in blowout
Speaking of George, the Lewisville phenom notched a personal milestone in the Farmers’ 87-42 rout of Irving on Tuesday. Scoring a game-high 28 points in the victory, George passed the 1,000-point career for his varsity career.
Eclipsing the mark in just 41 games, George is averaging a staggering 31.5 points in district play and met little resistance Tuesday against an overmatched Irving bunch.
The Farmers sprinted out to a 25-7 lead after one quarter and outscored the Tigers in the second half, 50-16. In addition to George’s 28 points, Lewisville got 11 points apiece from sophomore William Curtis and junior Kylin Green to improve to 2-0 in district play.
Jags rout Hebron
With star senior Logan McLaughlin sidelined, Hebron’s tough start to district play continued on Tuesday in a 66-38 home loss to Flower Mound.
The Jaguars pounced early for an 18-8 advantage after one quarter and limited the Hawks to just three points in the second stanza en route to a 26-11 lead at halftime. Flower Mound further distanced itself with back-to-back 20-point quarters in the second half.
The Jaguars’ size made its mark on Tuesday, with senior Robert Cieri and junior Hayden Lacy scoring 13 and 10 points, respectively, to complement senior Jeffrey Mills’ game-high 18 points to help Flower Mound to a 2-0 start to district.
Hebron, meanwhile, got 10 points from senior Kalen Vasher and eight from senior Alex Williams in dropping to 0-2 in conference play.