After its deflating, double-digit loss to Hebron on Friday, Denton coach Harold Jackson was just happy to get a win Tuesday, 72-66, as the Broncos’ stiff defensive effort in the first quarter put enough distance between them and Lake Dallas to hold on for their first district win.
Denton senior Deamonte Hughes’ 22 points, many of which came in transition, were a game high, while senior Adarian Harris served as the Broncos’ post presence with 19 points.
Denton flashed out to a 25-6 lead after the first quarter. The Broncos combined strict defense with quick and deliberate passing. The Falcons scored to make it 11-6, but the Broncos finished the quarter on a 14-0 run.
“Early in the game, we were able to force some turnovers and we were able to convert those turnovers into offensive points,” Jackson said. “Then we went through a period where we weren’t getting as many and we had to work a little harder to get a shot. We want to be able to get out in transition.”
Denton built a 17-point lead midway through the second quarter, but the Falcons fought back with an 8-2 run to end the half down 40-29.
After an even third quarter, the Falcons hit a 3-pointer to open the fourth and climb within single digits, but Denton (2-5, 1-0 District 5-4A), showed poise and answered with an 8-0 spurt.
Lake Dallas (4-4, 0-1) hung around with 3s and Denton foul trouble, but it couldn’t erase its deficit despite the Broncos’ inability to finish the game decisively at the free throw line.
“I thought we really played hard, and I thought the mistakes we made were mistakes of inexperience,” Jackson said. “Once we get that game experience, we won’t make mistakes anymore. We will work the clock and not take bad shots. We will make those free throws next time, because it’s the first time for a lot of those guys [to be] in crunch time with people yelling at you.”
Up next for Denton is a road game Friday against District 5-4A rival Guyer.
“I’d like to believe that getting a victory will give us the confidence that we need to go into Friday and try to be successful,” Jackson said. “We’ve got to come in and work and prepare for Guyer.”
Denton 26, Lake Dallas 20
Also earning their first district victory, the Denton girls held a 12-4 advantage after two quarters with their defense anchoring them and showing signs of improvement from earlier in the season.
“I think we’re getting closer,” Denton coach Dennis Krishka said. “We’re a long way from a finished product yet. I think we can extend the court, but we’re just not very smart about it and that’s what causes foul situations. That’s something we’re going to work on into the holidays and after.”
Alex Mcintosh was the go-to Lady Bronco on offense with a game-high 12 points.
The Lady Broncos (7-6, 1-2) held a seemingly commanding 20-6 lead midway through the third quarter, but the Falcons scored the final five points of the period to inch within single digits.
Lake Dallas (4-6, 1-2) climbed back into the game at the free throw line, but Denton was able to fend off the comeback attempt with a few timely defensive stops.
Offensively, the Lady Broncos have been struggling of late, and Krishka said the team is searching for consistency at several positions.
“The ice storm came and the offense kind of went with the ice,” Krishka said. “We’ve been iced out shooting the basketball since we came back. It’s a good thing that we’re playing good defense, and that’s keeping us in the game. We’re happy to get the W, but we have to figure out what we’re doing on the offensive end.”
The times for Friday’s doubleheader at Guyer have been moved due to Guyer’s playoff football game. The girls will start at 2:30 p.m. with the boys starting at 4 p.m.
PATRICK HAYSLIP can be reached at 940-566-6873 and via Twitter at @PatrickHayslip.
Denton 72, Lake Dallas 66
Lake Dallas (4-4, 0-1) — Reality Jackson 15, Josh Jackson 15, Dylan Lumsden 15, Darius Jefferies 9, Conner Haile 5, C.J. Harris 5, Josh Rowe 2.
Denton (2-5, 1-0) — Deamonte Hughes 22, Adarian Harris 19, Keyandre Hearvey 9, Emerson Espinoza 7, Dolen Nicholson 6, Curtis Stevenson 2, Cy Ward 2, Zac Muthiani 2, Tyson Hokes 2, Edson Vasquez 1.
Denton 26, Lake Dallas 20
Lake Dallas (4-6, 1-2) — Sophia Jackson 8, Ashley Hayes 5, Amani Alston 3, Kelsey Tuck 2, Taylor Hunt 2.
Denton (7-6, 1-2) — Alex Mcintosh 12, Mariah Seastrunk 4, April Pena 4, Taylor Seastrunk 2, Jordan Mazziotta 2, Key-Alia Wafer 2.