When Ryan senior guard Xavier Gray stepped to the free throw line in the second quarter and knocked down two free throws Friday night, the Ryan crowd let out a cheer it had held in for a long time.
By the time Gray knocked down those shots with 4:53 left in the first half, Flower Mound was up by 21 points.
The Jaguars scored the first 21 points of the game and cruised to a 66-43 victory at Billy Ryan Gym.
Flower Mound didn’t miss often in the first half and knocked down seven 3-pointers to hand Ryan its third straight District 5-5A loss.
“We didn’t execute in transition defensively and had a difficult time matching up,” Ryan coach Bryce Overstreet said. “In turn, out of their seven 3s in the first half, we only contested two of those. You can’t give those guys uncontested 3s.”
The Raiders (6-13, 0-3 district) were led off the bench by Gray and Trent Willis. Willis scored 11 points and Gray added eight.
Flower Mound forward John Frischenmeyer scored 14 of his game-high 16 points in the first half.
Flower Mound coach Jason Fossett said that to offset his team’s lack of size, the Jaguars (15-8, 1-2) relied on a high volume of shots. Four of the team’s first six baskets were from behind the 3-point arc.
“We had been starting really bad the first two district ballgames,” Fossett said. “We knew we needed to get off to a quick start.”
Fossett was displeased with his team’s play in the final two quarters. Ryan outscored Flower Mound by six points in the second half after the Raiders trailed 41-12 at halftime. Overstreet said he was proud of the way Ryan came back and finished the contest.
“These guys show up every day and they continue to compete,” Overstreet said. “These guys aren’t going to quit. They’re going to fight day in and day out.”
Flower Mound 63, Ryan 30
Flower Mound center Lauren Cox made the game plan for the Lady Jaguars pretty simple.
Flower Mound took advantage of the glaring height disparity between the 6-foot-4 center and the rest of Ryan’s roster to cruise in the first game of the doubleheader.
Cox scored 20 of her 24 points in the first half and snapped Ryan’s two-game winning streak.
Ryan coach Monesha Allen said her team tried to prevent the Lady Jaguars from getting the ball to Cox.
“We were trying to get people to tip the ball out of bounds, because we have a few athletes,” Allen said. “Just don’t let her catch it. If she catches it, then she’s going to score.”
Ryan (7-14, 2-3) was led by junior forward Carissa Sanders’ 11 points. Tichina Coleman made her return to the lineup after missing almost a month because of a concussion.
Flower Mound (14-10, 4-1) asserted its dominance early on. The Lady Jaguars’ full-court press forced Ryan into four straight turnovers to start the game. By the time Ryan attempted its first shot, it trailed by seven points.
Ryan went 0-for-12 from behind the 3-point line. The team’s struggles from the perimeter magnified Cox’s ability to shut down the area near the basket.
“We couldn’t get anything going on the perimeter,” Allen said. “It just hurt us inside because you’re not going to get anything inside unless she’s out of the paint or on the bench.”
Flower Mound 66, Ryan 43
Flower Mound — Connor Green 3, Colby Cox 11, Jake Feickert 14, Wes Robinson 1, John Frischenmeyer 16, Mike Howard 8, Matt Scheffler 2, Matt Nejtek 6, Isaiah Brown 5.
Ryan — Ibrahim Logan 5, Zach Brooks 8, A.J. Hill 5, Xavier Pittman 2, Xavier Gray 8, Trent Willis 11, Devin Kiner 4.
Flower Mound 63, Ryan 30
Flower Mound — Lauren Cox 24, Kayla Mount 8, Courtney Fields 12, Marin Mills 5, Amanda Manville 3, Andrea Counts 2, Ciara Campbell 4, Jessie Larson 2, Emma MacCarron 2, Hannah Avcoin 1.
Ryan — Tichina Coleman 5, Kimani Henderson 3, Carissa Sanders 11, Shanna Daniels 8, Sydney Lundgren 1, Cy’era Coleman 2.