On paper, No. 2 Guyer held a significant advantage over Flower Mound Marcus entering Tuesday night's home opener.
The unbeaten Wildcats (6-0) were coming off a big weekend in which they knocked off No. 3 Austin Westlake, No. 6 South Garland and No. 11 South Grand Prairie. But Marcus (3-5) knew what it needed to do to stand a chance against a loaded Guyer team.
The Marauders played with a lot of physicality and stalled offensively. While it worked for the first 16 minutes, Guyer settled down in the second half on its way to a 82-72 victory.
"Their plan was definitely to be physical and pull the ball out to extend our defense," Guyer coach Grant Long said. "We didn't bring the same mindset we had over the weekend but were able to find a way to win."
In the first 40 seconds of the game, Marcus fouled Guyer's Jalen Wilson hard underneath the basket. The foul led to a scuffle between the teams, and Wilson was issued a technical foul.
It was a sign of what was to come as the teams combined for 22 fouls before the break. The style played into the hands of the Marauders, who used Nelson Chevis' 11 points to take a 34-33 lead.
"They tried to get into our head a little bit," Guyer junior De'Vion Harmon said. "We were a little stagnant offensively, but we came back and stayed positive."
It didn't take Guyer long to turn things back in its favor.
The Wildcats got the ball to open the third and pushed it up the court before senior Grayson Carter, who has signed with Georgetown, threw down a big dunk to give Guyer a 35-34 lead.
Carter had nine points in the frame and finished with 19.
"[The dunk] sped up the tempo and put us in the right mindset," Carter said. "We let them hit us in the first half, but we came out better in the second."
With Carter beginning to take over, Guyer used full-court pressure to speed the game up. Wilson and Carter used their length to create turnovers, and Harmon took advantage of the increase in transition opportunities to lead all scorers with 24 points.
It was a slow start, but the Wildcats bounced back to stay unbeaten. Guyer will turn its focus to Dallas W.T. White, which it plays in the first round of the Mansfield ISD Spring Creek Barbeque Classic at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.
"Defense, playing as a team and our offensive efficiency will continue to be a big deal," Long said. "But we've started 6-0, so I'm proud of that. We're finding a way to win every ballgame."
Guyer 82, Flower Mound Marcus 72
Flower Mound Marcus (3-5) -- Smith 14, Chevis 14, Goetz 15, Castans 15, Richard 4, Barber 3, Short 5, Meyer 2.
Guyer (6-0) -- De'Vion Harmon 24, Grayson Carter 19, Jalen Wilson 15, Chris Craig 11, JaKobe Coles 11, Ty Mcghie 2.