McKinney junior Ja’Kobe Walter, pictured in previous action, scored 44 points in Tuesday’s 88-57 win over Lakeview Centennial.


McKinney junior Ja’Kobe Walter was in the zone Tuesday against Garland Lakeview Centennial.

The Lions’ star shooting guard had his dynamic offensive skill set working from the onset against the Patriots, scoring 44 points on 64% shooting to lead the McKinney boys basketball team to a comfortable 88-57 victory in non-district play.

Walter, the reigning District 5-6A MVP, did his damage all over the floor, including nine makes from 3-point range. He added 11 rebounds and four steals as McKinney upped its record to 11-1 on the season.

The Lions struck early and often, building a 42-22 lead at halftime over Lakeview and scoring at least 22 points in three separate quarters on Tuesday. While Walter had the hot hand all game long, McKinney also got 14 points from senior Jackson Steele and 10 from senior Thatcher McClure.

The Lions are ranked No. 3 in Class 6A by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, trailing only Duncanville and Richardson.

McKinney ventured south Thursday-Saturday for three days of competition in the Cypress Hoops Invitational. The Lions resume their preseason at 7 p.m. Tuesday with a road game at Grand Prairie — the final hurdle before McKinney opens 5-6A play Dec. 21 at Prosper.


North edges Mount Pleasant in OT

The McKinney North boys survived a sluggish fourth quarter to force overtime — subsequently downing Mount Pleasant in the extra frame for a 46-45 victory on Tuesday.

The Bulldogs, despite a narrow 36-32 lead through three quarters, managed just six points in the fourth quarter. Mount Pleasant rallied with a 10-0 run to take a 42-39 lead late into the frame before North scored three straight to force overtime. After Mount Pleasant took a 45-44 lead on a 3-pointer, Bulldogs senior Dylan Frazier scored the go-ahead points.

Frazier, named 10-5A’s MVP last season, paced North with 17 points in the win, while junior Micah Gibbs also cracked double figures with 13 points. 

The win marked the Bulldogs’ fourth in a row, a run they continued Thursday as part of a tournament hosted by Anna ISD. North picked up victories on the event’s first day against Uplift, 81-12, and host Anna, 60-43.

When the Bulldogs return home, they’ll next host Denton at 7:15 p.m. Monday before opening 10-5A play Dec. 21 on the road against Prosper Rock Hill.


Promising start doesn’t hold for Boyd

McKinney Boyd got the start it wanted Tuesday against reigning 6-6A co-champion Marcus. The rest of the evening was a different story, however, as the Broncos were ultimately upended by the Marauders, 44-37.

Boyd built a 9-5 lead after one quarter before Marcus caught fire — scoring 19 points in the second stanza to seize a 24-18 lead. The Broncos had an encouraging response by pulling within three points heading into the fourth quarter, down just 36-33, but managed only four points over the final eight minutes.

Junior Damondre Knight posted 11 points in the loss, while senior Kendall Alexander scored seven and senior PJ Twa and junior Jackson Seale tallied six apiece.

The loss was Boyd’s third in a row, a downturn from the team’s five-game winning streak amassed between Nov. 23-Dec. 3. The Broncos look to right the ship a 7 p.m. Tuesday at home against Grapevine.

For continued news and coverage on the local sports scene, follow Matt Welch on Twitter.

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