Northside ISD Boys Basketball roundup
By Pat Turner
Clark point guard Johnatan Reyes has been around the basketball scene long enough to know things can get intense when district play begins.
Blowouts may occur from time to time, but there’s also those contests that got down to the wire or even overtime.
From what Reyes has learned, the key is being able to come up with the plays to brave the storms. The Cougars (7-8, 2-0) withstood the challenges during the first week of District 28-6A and came out on top with an 83-79 double overtime win over Brandeis (5-8, 0-2) and a 70-55 zapping of Warren (8-6, 1-1).
That early success has the Cougars sharing first place with Marshall (10-3, 2-0) and Brennan (11-4, 2-0).
Reyes played a big role in Clark’s quick start.
He poured in 29 points and ran the floor effectively, setting up Antonio De La Trigg’s back-breaking 3-point goal in the second OT. It was more of the same against Stevens with Reyes knocking in 20 points, De La Trigg adding 13 and Luke Gibson contributing with 12.
The win over defending 28-6A champion Brandeis gave the Cougars a huge boost.
Stopping Kobe Magee never happened as the senior guard popped in 39 points. However, the Cougars had sharp shooting of their own. In the long run, their ability to execute under fire was the difference.
“Our team worked together,” Reyes said. “Kobe is such a good shooter. We weren’t happy about giving up those points, but we all kept picking each other up. As the point guard, I have to be the one to keep everyone up.
“I kept telling everyone to play hard. We got frustrated when we didn’t make shots, but I told them keep going, because they were going to fall. We started making the shots and big rebounds. We had to stay positive.”
That positive frame of mind worked.
Clark owned a 48-36 lead going into the final period, thanks to Reyes, who finished with 29 points, De La Trigg (17 points) and Nico Porter and Luke Gibson, who both poured in 12.
Brandeis caught fire and eventually erased the deficit. Magee provided a huge helping hand, especially in the final minute.
After putting in two free throws, the guard fed a pass to Kyle Houlihan, who followed through with a 3-point goal with 27.1 seconds to bring the Broncos within 65-63.
Clark missed a chance to widen its lead to four points after two free throws failed to hit the mark. Houhlihan put up another three but was fouled in the process.
He sank two of three freebies to tie the score at 65-65 with 18.4 seconds.
Reyes put Clark back in front with a driving shot. The Cougars appeared to have things wrapped up when a missed layup fell out of bounds as the buzzer went off.
Officials said the ball went out with 0.5 seconds, giving Brandeis a final chance to do something, Avery Theus banked in a shot to send the game into the first OT at 65-all.
Both teams battled to a 76-76 deadlock to force the second overtime where Clark finally got the edge.
Brandeis got an early 78-76 lead on free throws from Zach Martinez, only to see Reyes deliver a game-tying bucket.
The score remained tied at 79-79 before De La Trigg delivered his shot that put Clark in front, 82-79.
Brandeis missed three attempts at countering with a bucket, but Gibson eventually foiled the Broncos’ attempt at a comeback with a rebound. With 6.9 seconds he sank one of two free throws to seal the deal.
Clark got off to a quick start against Warren (8-6, 1-1), shooting to a 26-17 lead.
The Warriors’ Isaiah Thorne (20 points) and Stanley Umude (18 points) created problems, but the Cougars stayed in front behind the work of Reyes, De La Trigg and Gibson.
Marshall got the upper hand in its two games, easing past Jay (56-48) and Stevens (69-43)
The Rams pulled away from pesky Jay in the second half by relying on the duo of Kelvin Pescadero (14 points) and Sayvon Frye (10 points).
Marshall looked stronger against Stevens by gaining the upper hand early with aggressive defensive tactics and more balanced shooting.
Pescadero was on top of his game with 11 points, with help also coming from Levi Reed and Justin Juarez, who each put in 12.
Brennan was also impressive in its first week as well.
The Bears rolled over O’Connor (7-7, 1-1), 57-34, as Jacari Sanders and Alexander Wise led the way.
Brennan had a tougher time against Brandeis as the Bears had to overcome a 25-24 halftime lead.
Sanders, who totaled 27 points, Wise (18 points), Jahmyl Jeter (17 points) and Christian Martinez (10 points) helped Brennan change its fortune in the second half.
In addition to connecting on clutch shots, the Bears held the Broncos to nine points in the third period. Brandeis followed with a 33-point spurt in the fourth quarter to break past the Falcons.
Although Stevens’ week ended on a rough note, the Falcons turned in one of the more inspirational performances during their 88-80 OT win over Holmes prior to the loss.
Stevens took a big jolt in the first half when scoring leader Johnathan Salazar went out with an injury. Instead of crumbling over the loss of their teammate, the Falcons bonded.
Holmes (10-4, 1-1) still made it difficult for Stevens. Marco Anthony (40 points) caused the Falcons headaches, but Tylen Figueroa (16 points), Carlos Centeno (14 points) and Esteban Trevino (10 points) did their share.
Even under those conditions, the Falcons were still in a good position after carving out a 60-53 lead following back-to-back buckets from Larenz Johnson (20 points).
Stevens was unable to maintain the advantage as Holmes’ pressing defense created problems. Eventually, the Falcon forced OT at 69-69 with Anthony’s 3-pointer.
Despite letting the advantage slip away, Stevens recovered in overtime with the biggest lift coming from Quenton Coleman.
The Stevens guard was top of his game the entire time, pouring in 32 points. His most memorable work came with his 11 points during the overtime period.
Holmes bounced back from the loss with a 60-41 win over Taft as Anthony led the Huskies with 25 points and Figueroa added 12.
Warren and O’Connor also made recoveries.
Thorne (22 points), Umude (20 points) and Adrian McConn (10 points) paced the Warriors to a 60-41 blitzing of Taft (1-12, 0-2).
O’Connor staged a second-half rally to slip past Jay (3-10, 0-2).
Down 34-31 at halftime, the Panthers raced past the Mustangs in the second half with balanced shooting from Brock Weaver (18 points), Cody Farmer (16 points) and Garrett Crane (10 points).
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