With the playoffs just around the corner and coming off a loss, the Denton Broncos got back on track with their eighth District 5-4A victory of the season with a 67-43 home win over Wichita Falls on Tuesday night.
With center Greg Helt still out with a broken foot, the Broncos (13-14, 8-2 district) relied on Adarian Harris to carry their front court as Harris’ high shooting percentage led the Broncos’ well-balanced attack with 14 points.
“He was our leading scorer for the team coming off the bench, so him stepping into that role is not a big difference,” Denton head coach Harold Jackson said. “He had an outstanding game for us.”
Harris’ bucket gave the Broncos an early 9-5 lead, which they extended out to 18-11 after Romeo Purvis missed a 3-pointer, dove to knock the ball of a Wichita Falls defender and capitalized on his second chance by burying a 3 on the inbounds play.
At the end of each of the first three quarters, someone banked in a 3-pointer as time expired. Manny Patterson scored three of his seven points at the end of the first to give the Broncos a 21-13 lead.
Denton’s transition defense was crucial in the second quarter. The Broncos forced several Wichita Falls turnovers on the way to outscoring the Coyotes 17-8, with Deamonte Hughes, who had 10 points on the night, banking in a 3 to end the first half with his team up 38-21.
“They did a good job in transition tonight,” Jackson said. “I thought even when we turned the ball over, they sprinted back. I don’t question how hard they played throughout the game, and effort will take you a long way.”
The Broncos continued their stout defensive play by allowing only nine points in the third quarter on their way to a 55-30 lead.
Jackson said he was proud of his team’s effort despite shooting the ball poorly. After Guyer ended the Broncos’ six-game winning streak Friday, Jackson said he hopes this win will recapture their previous momentum for a playoff run.
“You can’t make the game bigger than what it was,” Jackson said. “It was a district game in the early part of the second half of district for the district lead. What we have to do is look at the things we did well and reinforce them. Even though we didn’t shoot the ball well, we still gave ourselves an opportunity to win the game at the end.”
Wichita Falls 40, Denton 35
The Lady Broncos outscored the Lady Coyotes in the third and fourth quarters but couldn’t claw to within less than five points.
“That’s the thing about our season,” Denton coach Dennis Krishka said. “We have only been out of three games all year. We’ve been in everything. You’d like to see them have some success for as hard as they work, but they can’t get over the hump.”
Wichita Falls’ Jada Green led all scorers with 17 points, with Karlesha Clark adding 10 points.
Mariah Seastrunk led the Lady Broncos with 15 points, including eight in the fourth quarter.
Denton (7-20, 2-10) trailed only 11-7 after the first quarter, but its offense fell flat in the second quarter and the Lady Broncos entered halftime down 21-11.
Krishka said he thought his team’s biggest deficiency was in the intensity department.
“We didn’t match their intensity,” Krishka said. “They got a big enough jump on us and we couldn’t get back over the hump. We cut it down to single digits and kept within six or seven points, but we couldn’t cut to anything lower than that.”
PATRICK HAYSLIP can be reached at 940-566-6873. His e-mail address is email@example.com .
WICHITA FALLS 40, DENTON 35
Wichita Falls — Jada Green 17, Karlesha Clark 10, Lemetria Scroggins 5, Sierra Roberts 3, Jalisa Williams 3, Alex Cowsert 2
Denton — Mariah Seastrunk 15, Lyric King 8, April Pena 6, Myesha Taylor 3, LaNeisha Hudspeth 2, Jordan Hudspeth 1.
DENTON 67, WICHITA FALLS 43
Wichita Falls — Lucas McClain 23, Mikal Penn 3, Michael Williams 3, Brandon Brown 3, Deshaon Young 3, Demetrius Mozeld III 2.
Denton — Adarian Harris 14, Deamonte Hughes 10, Erik Dixon 9, Romeo Purvis 7, Manny Patterson 7, Michael Jackson 6, Ryan Daniels 6, Chavis Johnson 6, DeRodney Thomas 2.