Xavier McKinney The Colony

The Colony’s Xavier McKinney shoots a free throw during Monday’s home game against Frisco.

Basketball is a game of runs.

The Colony boys basketball team found out how true that statement is Monday afternoon.

Frisco senior Lawson Levin missed a game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer as the Cougars held on for a 59-56 win at Tommy Thomas Gymnasium.

The Colony was relieved to see Levin attempt that shot – not junior Rocco Paul – which would have sent the game into overtime had he made it. Paul was on fire the entire game from behind the arc. He led all scorers with 33 points.

Paul also used his 6-foot-4 frame to make shots closer to the basket, including a bank shot with 6:14 left in the ballgame that gave the Raccoons a 48-40 lead.

“He played very well,” said Cleve Ryan, The Colony head coach. “He’s a good player, a great young man. It’s good to see him do well, as long as he didn’t shoot that last one.”

It was an advantage that came after the Cougars had taken a 27-19 lead on a spinning jump shot by senior Jahyden Davis with 2:35 left in the first half.

Davis and junior Jaidyn Cotto scored 15 points apiece to pace the Cougars, followed by 13 from senior Shenard Aiken.

But this game was all about extended runs.

Frisco answered with 10 straight points – the first eight scored by Paul – to take a 29-27 lead. The Colony senior forward Xavier McKinney made a put-back in the final minute to knot the score at 29 at halftime.

The two teams traded baskets early in the third quarter before senior Grayson Ryan made a Euro-step move in the lane for a layup to give the Cougars a 40-33 lead. And while the Raccoons came back with an 11-0 run to close out the quarter, The Colony finished the game strong.

“We’ve talked about just trying to be consistent, whether it’s finishing out a quarter or a half,” coach Ryan said. “When you’re playing high school basketball, teams are going to go on runs. We went on some, they went on some. You want to try to minimize those as much as possible for the opponent. We’ve got to clean up some things, whether it’s offense or defense. But we found a way today.”

With both teams over the foul limit, the Cougars did a great job of taking advantage of the bonus situation, making nine of 12 free throws in the game’s final 2:34.

The Colony returned to the court Tuesday for its final game before Thanksgiving and was unable to build on a solid first quarter in a 52-37 loss to Wylie. The Cougars led 13-10 at the end of the opening frame, but the Raiders outscored The Colony 42-24 over the final three quarters of play.

Cotto led the way offensively for the Cougars with 13 points, followed by 12 from Grayson Ryan.

The Colony (1-3) will return to the court next Tuesday for a home game against Frisco Heritage and will then hit the road next weekend for a tournament in Abilene. 

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