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Basketball: Five Denton players score in double digits in rout of Wichita Falls

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Alex Kelly, For the Denton Record-Chronicle

Denton knew it had to come storming out of the gates in its District 5-5A opener to beat Wichita Falls.

The Broncos were able to do just that on defense; their first 10 points came off Wichita Falls turnovers, which led to a wire-to-wire 83-54 win Tuesday evening.

Denton led by senior Elijah Anderson, who had a season-high 19 points and led all Broncos scorers.

"It was great to see Elijah go off tonight," Denton coach Harold Jackson said. "He was slashing, and his teammates were able to hit him on time and on target, and he was able to finish by the bucket, which is his strength."

Denton was suffocating with its full-court press that seemed to completely take Wichita Falls off of its game, and 13 of the Broncos' 29 first-quarter points came off turnovers.

"We forced a lot of turnovers, and the great thing was we were able to take those turnovers and turn them into points," Jackson said.

Despite committing 25 turnovers, Wichita Falls picked up 23 points from junior Kobe Graham to lead all scorers. Part of Graham's big night was his ability to convert from the free-throw line, where he went 5-for-6. This was another area that the Coyotes struggled in overall, going 16-for-28 while Denton made 10 of its 15 attempts.

One of the main reasons the Denton defense was so stifling was the play of senior Jalen Jackson. Jackson, who finished the game with 12 points, was up on his man every trip down the floor and was consistently flying around the court to take away passing lanes and drives to shut down Wichita Falls.

Jackson's defense, along with key stops from Trayvon Brockington and Joseph Frisby, was crucial as Denton outscored Wichita Falls 29-8 in the first quarter.

Down 26 at halftime, Wichita Falls opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer from Jale Simmons, who finished with 13 points, and then a charge taken by Xavier Berry. However, Wichita Falls committed yet another turnover, and the Denton offense converted an easy layup.

Jackson said he liked the way his team played, but there still are some things it needs to clean up.

"We need to execute better, offensively and defensively," he said.

Next up for Denton is a tournament in Fort Worth starting Dec. 28. After that, it will go on the road for a district game against Denison on Jan. 2.

Denton 83, Wichita Falls 54

Wichita Falls 8 11 15 20 -- 54
Denton 29 16 21 17 -- 83

Wichita Falls (7-13, 0-1 District 5-5A) - Kobe Graham 23, Jalen Simmons 13, Xavier Berry 5, Austin Dishman 4, Jack Murdock 4, Quintrell Coleman 2, Gavin Hair 2, Tyler Gaynor 1.

Denton (7-5, 1-0 District 5-5A) -- Elijah Anderson 19, Joseph Frisby 14, Jalen Jackson 12, Trayvon Brockington 10, Arbin Fera 10, Nick Edwards 9, Yousef Omar 4, Marcellus Lockley 3, Luke Fleitman 2, Elijah Thibodeaux 2.