The Little Elm boys and girls basketball teams returned to action last week for a pair of tournaments.
Little Elm’s girls came into this week looking to end a mini slump.
The Lady Lobos had lost their previous five games, including a heartbreaking 60-58 loss last week in a District 5-6A game against Allen.
But all it took for Little Elm to snap out of that recent funk was a sizzling shooting performance by junior guard Amarachi Kimpson.
Kimpson exploded for 32 points in a 61-37 victory over Wylie in the opener of the Lady Bulldog Holiday Classic at McKinney North on Tuesday. Her sister, freshman Shiloh Kimpson, added 15 points in the victory.
A strong end to the game helped Little Elm to seal the win. The Lady Lobos outscored Wylie 22-0 in the fourth quarter after clinging to a 39-37 lead at the end of the third quarter.
HEARTBREAK FOR LITTLE ELM BOYS
The Little Elm boys played hard but suffered three single-digit losses to commence the Allen In-N-Out Burger Holiday Classic.
A balanced scoring attack wasn’t enough for the Lobos in an 84-76 loss to Frisco Independence in the third game of the tournament on Tuesday evening.
Three players attained double figures in scoring for the Lobos, led by 20 points for senior Isaac Berry. Giovanni Fleming added 15 points, followed by 13 for Kenneth Gaines Jr.
Earlier in the day, Little Elm was unable to build on a six-point halftime lead in a 61-55 loss to Naaman Forest.
Berry poured in 19 points. Ibrahima Diallo finished with 18 points.
To commence tournament play, Little Elm nearly pulled off a major rally in a 68-65 loss to Class 6A’s No. 12 Friendswood Clear Brook on Monday evening.
Clear Brook led by 19 points in the third quarter in a game in which Little Elm held an 18-7 lead in the first quarter.
In search of a spark, Lobos head coach Dominique Parker made a few changes to his team’s lineup. Parker inserted senior Cameran Taylor-Butler, freshman Darius Johnson and senior Frederick Smart into the game in the fourth quarter.
The changes nearly paid off.
Little Elm’s defense shut down the driving lanes to the basket for Clear Brook guard Kemo Millinder after he had scored at will. Millinder poured in 25 points.
Berry heated up from behind the arc, scoring 11 of his team-high 25 points in the game’s final eight minutes, including a pair of free throws that cut the deficit to 66-63 with 23 seconds left.
Berry and Johnson each drew a charge in the final quarter to shut down scoring opportunities for Clear Brook.
Diallo made a pair of free throws with 9.9 ticks left on the clock to reduce the deficit to 66-65. But on the ensuing inbounds play, a Clear Brook player threw a long pass into the front court, which was converted into a layup.
Needing a 3-pointer to send the game into overtime, Little Elm, instead, turned the ball over near the half-court line and Clear Brook held on for the win.