After amassing a 12-point advantage in the second quarter, the Denton Broncos let what was a 10-point lead in the third quarter slip away from them as Lake Dallas clawed back with a 15-0 run before finally taking a 59-55 lead with 2:30 left in the game.
With time as their enemy, the Broncos’ full-court press was led by Michael Jackson’s two steals in the final moments of the game, allowing Denton to recapture the lead with just over 26 seconds remaining as the Broncos survived a desperation 3-point attempt by Josh Jackson to secure a 64-62 victory over Lake Dallas in the District 5-4A opener for both teams.
“Our nondistrict schedule really prepared us, and we have played a couple games really close that we came up on the short end of,” Denton head coach Harold Jackson said. “It’s extremely important to open up with a district victory on the road. I told my kids that I was proud we persevered and found a way in the end when we weren’t really playing well.”
Greg Helt led the Broncos (6-9) in scoring with 15 points with two 3-pointers and several efficient, strong post moves. Manny Patterson’s floaters and aggression gave him 14 points on the night, with Ryan Daniels hitting three of his four free throws down the stretch to give him 12 points.
The Falcons (5-11) were led by Josh Jackson’s 20 points and his eight fourth-quarter points nearly gave Lake Dallas the edge it needed during its run. Kaleb Wright also added 11 points.
Lake Dallas went to a press in the second half that forced Denton into turnovers, several of which led to easy transition buckets for the Falcons.
“I was a little hesitant to press them a little bit because they are a running team,” Lake Dallas head coach Josh Welch said. “We came out and pressed a little bit and they didn’t take care of the ball. We went on a run, but they battled. You have to give credit to them.”
Welch blamed himself for the Falcons’ late-game performance and thinks his team needs to and will learn how to close.
“I probably haven’t done a good enough job preparing our kids for those late-game situations, and I think we are going to be in a lot of tight games this season,” Welch said. “We just have to learn how to finish and win ball games.”
Lady Falcons win
Despite the slow start to the season, the Lake Dallas Lady Falcons have started their District 5-4A schedule with three straight victories as they defeated the Denton Lady Broncos 29-26 in overtime after tying the game with just five seconds remaining on a free-throw line jumper from freshman Ashley Hayes.
“We knew going into the game that they had a very good defense and that they were very athletic,” Lake Dallas head coach Jonathan Lee said. “They did a good job making it difficult for us to get quality shots off. So we knew we were going to have to match with our defense. We felt like we did a good job sticking to our rules and playing disciplined defense.”
Lake Dallas (5-12) outscored Denton 7-4 in the overtime and were led by Hayes’ 10 points, with McKenzie Harrison adding seven points.
Lee thinks the late-game heroics by Hayes can only bode positively for her and the Lady Falcons in the future.
“I’m really proud of how Ashley played and how all the girls played. That was a good shot she hit to tie the game and she was 8 of 8 from the free-throw line. There is no doubt that a game like that is a character builder for a freshman.”
With the loss, the Lady Broncos fell to 4-13 on the season and are 0-3 in district play. April Pena led all scorers with 14 points, and Le’Andra Johnson pitched in eight points.
PATRICK HAYSLIP can be reached at 940-566-6873. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
Denton boys 64, Lake Dallas 62
Denton – Greg Helt 15, Manny Patterson 14, Ryan Daniels 12, Chavis Johnson 8, Michael Jackson 5, Adarian Harris 5, Wendell Williams 4, Romeo Purvis 1.
Lake Dallas – Josh Jackson 20, Kaleb Wright 11, Lorren Bassett 8, Realtiy Jackson 8, Bryce Williams 6, CJ Harris 4, Dorn Giovanni 3, Conner Haile 2.
Lake Dallas girls 29, Denton 26
Denton – April Pena 14, Le’Andra Johnson 8, Laneisha Hudspeth 2, Lyric King 2
Lake Dallas – Ashley Hayes 10, McKenzie Harrison 7, Erin Slater 5, Megan Dando 5, Adryna Roberson 2.