LITTLE ELM — Denton and Braswell struggled to score in the first half of Friday night's District 5-5A contest. It was a chess match between two fast-paced offenses that couldn't get into a rhythm.
The game came down to second-half adjustments made by the Broncos and a slim roster for Braswell as visiting Denton took a 54-39 victory.
"We were down two starters for various reasons, and I hate to say it, but when you hold MJ [Leslie] to zero points, that's a lot of our production offensively," Braswell coach Nick Sekeres said.
The Bengals led 28-25 at halftime, and then both teams' offenses sputtered once again, failing to score until the four minutes into the third quarter. From the 4:07 mark through the end of the frame, the Broncos outscored Braswell 18-4.
Denton had three players score in double figures — Arbin Fera had 12 points, Elijah Anderson 11 and Joseph Frisby chipped in with 10.
Kiran Anderson led the Bengals with 10 points, followed by freshman Jaylon Banks with nine.
Three Denton players helped secure the Broncos' win with their defensive efforts.
Elijah Thibadeaux, Marcellus Lockley and Nick Edwards kept Brawell's leading scorers at bay after the break.
"Marcellus, Elijah and Nick stepped up in the second half," Denton coach Harold Jackson said. "They all gave us valuable minutes."
The trio's defensive efforts led to some transition offense for the Broncos to help them close it out. Denton outscored the Bengals 29-11 in the second half.
Denton 53, Braswell 38
If the Lady Bengals are going to have success in the second half of district play, they'll have to learn how to make adjustments in the second half of games. That was alone was their demise in a 53-38 loss to the visiting Lady Broncos on Friday night.
Denton coach Erin Taylor credited her team's offensive success in the second half to the adjustments they made on defense. Taylor Pierce and Jamie Means halted nearly all of Braswell's drives inside the paint in the second half and turned it into transition offense. Means recorded five blocks in the contest to go with 10 points.
"Our offense feeds directly off of our defense, and Pierce had a big role for us tonight with her ability to cut off passes inside and turn it into some breakaways for us," Taylor said. "Jamie struggled in the first half but got going in the second creating space for herself and her teammates."
Kylie Scott led all scorers with 17 points, and Taylor Howell added 10.
Braswell was led by Lezyria Wilson's 12 points and Aminah Hall's nine.
The game was tied at 22 at halftime, and then the Lady Bengals failed to get into rhythm offensively, turning the ball over 11 times in the second half, which led to them being outscored 31-16 after intermission.
"We're going to have to go to make some changes to how we play in the second half because the second half of district is much more tough than the first half," Braswell coach Paige Trujillo said. "Defensively, we did an awesome job in the first half, but then it fizzled in the second."
JIMMY ISBELL can be reached at 817-781-0379 and via Twitter at @Jimmy_Isbell12.
Denton 54, Braswell 39
Denton (11-6, 3-1) — Nick Edwards 7, Elijah Thibadeaux 5, CJ Luster 7, Joseph Frisby 10, Arbin Fera 12, Elijah Anderson 11, Brandon Coleman 2.
Braswell (13-13, 1-4) — Kiran Anderson 10, David Robinson 6, Elijah Norris 3, Mark Kunz 3, Jaylon Banks 9, Matthew Edwards 8.
Denton 53, Braswell 38
Denton (14-13, 5-1) — Melissa Rwehumbiza 5, Kylie Scott 17, Taylor Pierce 9, Taylor Howell 10, Jamie Means 10, Alex Bradley 2.
Braswell (11-12, 3-3) — Sydney Tyler 3, Lezyria Wilson 12, Aminah Hall 9, Achlie Brown 8, Tiarah Starks 6.