For the first quarter of Friday’s game between Guyer and Fort Worth Brewer, the Wildcats had a few struggles offensively as some of their early shots beyond the arc failed to drop.
It didn’t take long for their fortunes to change, and that coupled with a stellar defensive effort led to a runaway 66-43 victory over Brewer at Wildcat Gymnasium to move the Wildcats into a first-place tie with Trophy Club Nelson in District 5-4A — a game up on Denton and two games up on Brewer.
“I thought our defense tonight was one of the best nights we’ve had,” Guyer coach Grant Long said. “We were diving on the floor, taking charges, everything. Their mindset right now is a championship mindset. It’s coming at the right time.”
After a hotly contested opening quarter, the Wildcats pulled away in the second, outscoring Brewer (12-10, 4-3 district) 25-14 behind a late-half push started by the Guyer defense.
The Wildcats (12-8, 6-1) closed the half on an 8-0 run, scoring all eight points in the final minute thanks to a 3-pointer from Miles Crawford, two free throws from Bryson Erby and then a steal off a loose ball that led to another 3-pointer from Alex Partridge with 1.8 seconds left, sending Guyer into the locker room with a 13-point lead.
“After we got that lead at the half, we were really able to just lock down defensively for the rest of the game and get after them,” Long said.
Guyer’s defense held Brewer’s athletic guards in check, as starting point guard Momo Hamza scored all eight of his points in the first half before fouling out midway through the fourth quarter.
Every Guyer player scored, led by Sean Choate, who was the only player in double figures with 11 points. Bryson Erby and Kason Kilgore each added nine points.
Guyer post player Josh Jordan scored five points in very limited minutes, as the 6-8 senior is dealing with a nagging injury. Long said he would be used sparingly throughout district play — only in key moments — before setting him loose in the postseason.
Guyer hosts Azle on Tuesday before traveling to Denton on Friday for what should be a key district matchup against the Broncos, but Long said his players aren’t looking ahead.
“After the game we lost [to Nelson], we’ve really taken it one game at a time and not looked into the future,” Long said. “It’s cliche and everything else, but it’s gotten us back to our roots of getting after it on defense and pushing the ball and attacking.”
Guyer 53, Fort Worth Brewer 21
Brewer didn’t get on the scoreboard until there were nine seconds left in the first quarter, and things never got better for the Lady Bears as Guyer rolled to a District 5-4A victory.
The Lady Bears (3-20, 0-9) made just one two-point basket, and that came with just more than five minutes to play.
Despite playing limited minutes, the Lady Wildcats (18-4, 7-2) got big nights from two of their leading scorers, as sophomore post player Bre Wickware scored a game-high 13 points. Freshman guard Lauren Heard scored 12 points, including two 3-pointers.
Guyer coach Harold Colson said he had a specific plan against a Brewer team his squad simply outmatched. He said he wanted to fine-tune things before a key 5-4A matchup at home Tuesday against Azle, which entered Friday with an identical district record to Guyer’s, tied for second place behind Wichita Falls Rider.
“We came in knowing we had to work on things for our next opponent,” Colson said. “They did exactly what we needed to do. We wanted to execute some things and play fundamental, solid defense.”
Guyer 66, Fort Worth Brewer 43
Fort Worth Brewer (12-10, 4-3) — Eric Worlds 4, Garrick Reynolds 12, Malcolm Davis 4, Howard Pulley 1, Alex Bagg 5, Chris Dixon 5, Momo Hamza 8, Yanni Noulas 4.
Guyer (12-8, 6-1) — Bryson Erby 9, Sean Choate 11, Shelton Childress 5, Miles Crawford 6, Alex Partridge 8, Zack Garza 2, Mitchell Willard 6, Kason Kilgore 9, Josh Jordan 5, Gordon Hill 4, Xavier Brown 2.
Guyer 53, Fort Worth Brewer 21
Fort Worth Brewer (3-20, 0-9) — Kaitlyn Dodd 12, Megan Morin 1, Emma Craig 2, Kylee Hessman 3, Bre Davis 3.
Guyer (18-4, 7-2) — Caitlyn Abreu 3, Ali Downard 3, Madi Franklin 2, Quamese Moss 9, Zakira Green 2, Ola Akinniyi 2, Lauren Heard 12, Sarah Mack 3, Bre Wickware 13, Jada Calloway 4.