KRUM — You maybe couldn’t tell it at halftime when the visitors led by 11. The final margin of 11 points might be confusing, too.
But when Krum’s Reed Flores scored his only points of the game, a 3-pointer that trimmed that once double-digit lead to three measly markers with 5:33 remaining, there was no mistaking Tuesday night’s goings-on.
“It’s Ponder versus Krum, the Battle of [FM]156,” said Ponder coach Jude Stanley after his team hung tough for a 50-39 win in the latest edition of the rivalry game between towns located only six miles apart in west Denton County.
The Lions improved to 12-5 on the season.
“I told the kids you can throw the records out for this one,” Stanley said. “The halftime score doesn’t matter. When the lights come on and it’s Ponder-Krum, it’s a different gear.”
The Bobcats, off to a 4-13 start under first-year head coach Sam Anderson, showed a different gear when they came out for the second half trailing 22-11. Led by Tanner Rankin’s seven points, six by Travis White and four by Tyler Starnes, Krum outscored Ponder 22-14 in the first 10 minutes, 7 seconds of the second half.
When Flores’ rainbow swished, Ponder’s lead was cut to 36-33.
“We hit a few shots, and we got some steals,” Anderson said. “They’re still learning my system, but they came out after halftime ready to play.”
Josh Peterson scored six of his seven points for Ponder down the stretch. He and teammate Clay Morgan, each topping out at 6-foot-5, took advantage repeatedly of their height advantage. Morgan finished with a game-high 18 points, while Hughes led Krum with 12.
The winning Lions hit 12 of 14 free throws in the final period. They were 20 of 26 from the line overall.
“We knew we had to make free throws at the end,” Stanley said. “And we’d have to defend. I’m extremely proud we just gave up 39 points. If you do that, you have a chance to win about every night.”
Kade Copp scored eight points for Ponder and teammates Grant Boxell added seven. Rankin was Krum’s No. 2 scorer with 11 points and Starnes finished with seven.
PONDER 50, KRUM 39
Ponder — Clay Morgan 18, Grant Boxell 7, Brady Anderson 3, Reid Sanders 2, Kade Copp 8, Micah Broadstreet 5, Josh Peterson 7.
Krum — Zack Hughes 12, Tyler Starnes 7, Tanner Rankin 11, Reed Flores 3, Travis White 6.