With a 85-49 trouncing of Lake Dallas on Tuesday, Denton improved to 7-1 in District 5-4A and maintained its hold on first place.
“They have a lot of athletes and they have been playing very well,” Lake Dallas coach Josh Welch said of Denton. “They knocked off the No. 1 team to come in first place in district, and they are playing very well together right now as a team. We weren’t able to convert with them. If they keep playing like that, it’s going to be hard to beat them. They could make a big run in the playoffs.”
The Broncos had it all going Tuesday against the Falcons, after needing a comeback Dec. 18 to eke out a 64-62 victory at Lake Dallas after leading 48-39 after three quarters.
“I thought that was probably one of the most complete games that we’ve played in a long time, and we actually had some outside shots fall,” Denton coach Harold Jackson said of Tuesday’s game.
Denton’s Michael Jackson and Adarian Harris led all scorers with 17 points, with Jackson setting the tone with tenacious defensive play and thunderous dunks.
“Michael played a great game,” Harold Jackson said. “I think it’s been awhile since he’s played at that level. He did a tremendous job and I’m very proud of his effort. He got dunks, and once he gets a dunk, it gets him going. Once he got the first one that got him going and pumped, he took that energy and applied it to defense and rebounding to have a complete game.”
Jackson kicked off the game with two layups. Then he was off on his stride and missed a dunk. After Lake Dallas (10-18, 2-6 district) turned the ball over on the ensuing possession, Jackson threw down the tomahawk jam to give the Broncos a 13-6 lead.
Coach Jackson said he likes his players to have confidence.
“I want them to play to their abilities and I don’t want them to be afraid to make a mistake,” Harold Jackson said. “I just want them to play aggressive, and that’s what he did.”
The Broncos held Lake Dallas’ Josh Jackson, who led all players with 20 points Dec. 18, to just 10 points Tuesday, and he was still the Falcons’ leading scorer.
Harold Jackson said his team’s recent run of defensive success can be attributed to a faster tempo.
“We just got up in them a little bit and probably forced them to play a bit faster than what they wanted to, and I think that caused them some problems,” Jackson said. “I know over the past month that we’ve put a little bit more pressure on guys defensively, and that has worked to our advantage. So I don’t want to deviate from that at the moment.”
After a Reality Jackson three-point play brought the Falcons to within 21-15 early in the second quarter, the Broncos cranked up the speed as Michael Jackson and Manny Patterson, who had 13 points and several assists, ran an efficient transition game on the way to a 18-6 spurt. The Broncos outscored the Falcons 31-20 in the second quarter.
Harold Jackson said he and his staff have been preaching unselfish play.
“A selfish basketball player is the easiest player to guard,” Jackson said. “When you have guys that play as unselfish as these guys played tonight, it becomes contagious. They look for the open guy and look to get their teammates open shots and shots in places where they can be successful. That’s what basketball’s all about. I’ll throw in a quote from John Wooden: ‘It’s amazing what we can accomplish when no one cares who gets the credit.’ That’s what we’ve been preaching to these guys the past month or so.”
The Broncos came out of halftime up 50-30 with several players continuing the offensive onslaught. Chavis Johnson came off the bench and delivered 14 points, with Erik Dixon pitching in eight bench points.
“Chavis is like instant offense off the bench,” Harold Jackson said. “We want him to come in, assert himself and attack the goal. We want him to play to his strengths, and he did that tonight.”
Lake Dallas 28, Denton 23
Lake Dallas stifled the Lady Broncos again, and the Lady Falcons’ Megan Dando led all scorers with 16 points, going 7-of-8 from the floor, after scoring just five in the teams’ first matchup this season.
“Megan had a big night for us,” Lake Dallas coach Jonathan Lee said. “She’s one of those players that you feel that if you can get the ball up to her that she can make things happen with it. We’ve got some plays to get her the ball, and she does a great job of getting the ball in the hoop.”
Lake Dallas (8-20) moved to within a game of Wichita Falls for the fourth playoff spot in District 5-4A, and Lee said his team hasn’t shown what it is capable of yet.
“We’ve played about six teams that are ranked in the top 25, whether they were 3A or 4A,” Lee said. “We’ve played some really tough competition heading into district. I think that can be a little deceiving as far as what we are capable of. I think they are rising to the occasion and they know that as long as we are still in it that they will play hard.”
Denton (7-18, 2-8) was led by Myesha Taylor’s seven points, with LaNeisha Hudspeth and Lyric King adding six points apiece. The Lady Broncos held Lake Dallas to just four points in the first quarter but could only amass a two-point lead at that point.
“Our defense has been good enough to win,” Denton coach Dennis Krishka said. “You hold a team to 28 points, you should win. I thought we were really snake-bit tonight. A lot of them went in and out, but we have been getting the shots we need to be successful. They just have to make them.”
Lee said he changed his strategy as the game wore on.
“They’re a very good defensive team,” Lee said of Denton. “We knew it was going to be a defensive struggle, so we had to make defense our key. At the beginning, I was hoping our defense would turn into offense by pressing, but we found out really quickly that we couldn’t do that against them. They are very athletic. We just have our girls sticking to our defensive plan. They work hard to perfect it in the game. Sometimes we get it and sometimes we don’t.”
After Denton took the lead at 10-8, the Lady Falcons rattled off a 7-0 run to finish the first half up 15-10. Lake Dallas held the Lady Broncos to just four points in the third quarter to give the Lady Falcons a 21-14 point lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
PATRICK HAYSLIP can be reached at 940-566-6873. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
DENTON 85, LAKE DALLAS 49
D — Michael Jackson 17, Adarian Harris 17, Manny Patterson 13, Ryan Daniels 6, Chavis Johnson 14, Erik Dixon 8, Deamonte Hughes 6, Romeo Purvis 4.
LD — Josh Jackson 10, Kaleb Wright 8, Lorren Bassett 8, Dylan Lumsden 8, Reality Jackson 7, Conner Haile 4, Dorn Giovanni 3, CJ Harris 1.
LAKE DALLAS 28, DENTON 23
D — Myesha Taylor 7, Laneisha Hudspeth 6, Lyric King 6, April Pena 4
LD — Megan Dando 16, McKenzie Harrison 5, Erin Slater 3, Ashley Hayes 3, Megan Tamplin 1.