As the Coppell boys basketball team basked in what it just accomplished once again, players looked to their fearless leader and across the roster beaming with great words about everybody.
Senior Adam Moussa let out a big smile talking about everything that happened this year, saying head coach Clint Schnell needed to be named back-to-back Coach of the Year and that sophomore Ryan Agarwal is the best shooter in Texas. Agarwal said, “Yes sir” as Moussa reflected on the banner year for the program and just how much everyone played a role in making this come to fruition.
With Flower Mound’s 73-72 win Friday over then-second place Lewisville and Coppell’s (27-5, 11-2) 57-46 victory at Irving MacArthur (22-8, 9-4) – who was also at second place entering the game and just one game back of Coppell – the Cowboys secured their second straight outright District 6-6A crown heading into Tuesday’s regular-season finale.
“That’s it,” Agarwal said. “We came in not knowing where we were going to be this year. We didn’t know where we were going to be. Like last year, we were like, ‘Oh my God. What’s going to happen?’ Our coach brought us in. We went to A&M. We played extremely well. We kept improving all year long, practiced intense. Every time he’s on our butt, just constantly getting us better and better.”
MacArthur battled back from an early deficit and took a lead in the fourth quarter after holding Coppell to consecutive seven-point frames, but the Cowboys responded and seized control in the final minutes.
Agarwal hit a 3 to cap off a 16-5 run and give his team a 50-40 lead with just over two minutes remaining on the clock, part of a 26-point period that helped the Cowboys gain just enough traction down the stretch to etch the words “district champions” next to their names.
“We kind of get up on teams,” Schnell said. “We come out the second half and we kind of let them back in it. But our guys have played a tough schedule all year. We’ve played some really good teams. We lost a few of them and we won some of them, so they know how to fight through the adversity. They know how to get the momentum back and finish a game off. Heading into the playoffs, that’s going to be huge for us.”
It was Agarwal and Anthony Black – the two sophomore starters – who played a crucial in the final 16 minutes that lifted the Cowboys to a tough road win over one of the top teams in the area.
Black scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half, highlighted by a dominant 10-point fourth quarter. Agarwal added a team-best 21 points, another outing during a dominant run of play on the court to follow up his 24-point effort against Flower Mound and a 22-point effort versus Irving Nimitz.
“Honestly, without them, this might have been a 20-point blowout on our hand,” Moussa said. “Let’s just say, for the next two years, this program is in very good hands.”
But they were not the only players that played key roles in the celebratory night.
Everyone who stepped onto the floor made an impact in their own way. Senior Brandon Taylor scored 11 points. Senior leader Moussa scored eight. Seniors Cole Duron and Clayton Hunter didn’t need any points to prove their worth, playing stellar defense and making their presence known in additional facets of the game.
Those contributions up and down the roster showed the foundation of Coppell basketball this season.
“We try to play physical defense,” Schnell said. “We play team defense, and to do that you’ve got to have all five guys. Whoever is on the floor has got to contribute. Those guys have bought into it. We challenged them tonight knowing that MacArthur was going to be a good scoring team.”
With one game left on the gauntlet before the postseason, the top-seeded Cowboys want to gain some more positive traction when they host Hebron at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
“We’re going to go get a win,” Schnell said. “One of our core values is being competitive, so every game we play we’re going to go get a win. We want to do it to get our momentum going and have a good run going into the playoffs and feeling good about ourselves.”