With Denton closing out the first half with costly turnovers, leading to easy points for Guyer, it looked as if the Broncos might fall for the second time this season to their crosstown rival.
The second half was a different story as senior DeAndre Coleman’s intensity, defense and timely scoring helped Denton erase a double-digit halftime deficit and claim a crucial 63-60 victory at home Friday.
“At the beginning, I knew I had to go out there as a dog,” Coleman said. “Coach [Harold Jackson] wanted me to go out there and lead the team as a senior and play defense. So what I did was just play defense and pulled it when I had the chance and made the bucket. I just played my heart out for my team.”
After the Wildcats (13-9, 7-2 District 5-4A) jumped out to a 34-23 lead at halftime, Coleman helped cap an 8-1 run in the third quarter to inch the Broncos to within 42-38 and put the team on his back with nine of his team-high 15 points in the fourth quarter.
Coleman’s conventional three-point play tied the game at 51 with 6:17 left in the back-and-forth fourth quarter.
Guyer had a chance in the waning seconds, but Bryson Erby was called for an offensive foul with 25 seconds remaining and Denton’s Deamonte Hughes closed out the game at the free throw line.
Denton (10-12, 6-3) moved to within a game of second-place Guyer and a game ahead of fourth-place Wichita Falls.
“I’m just so proud of the way the kids came back and bought in to what I asked them to do at halftime,” Jackson said. “Being down 11, we could have gone either way, but I just asked the kids to get some stops and have a little bit more movement on offense. We were able to do that and climb back into the game.”
The Broncos’ loss to Trophy Club Nelson deflated their shot at taking first place in the district, and their most recent loss to Lake Dallas reinvigorated them for Friday’s contest.
“We needed two big wins against Guyer and Byron Nelson,” Coleman said. “We wanted first place in district, but we know we need to keep working hard like we are now. [The loss to Nelson] hurt really bad. It made everyone change their attitude in practice. We thought we were going to go down there and win, and they surprised us.”
Jackson just needed his team to execute the defensive lessons he and his coaching staff were trying to instill, and he saw a noticeable change to the team’s attitude.
“I think that the loss to Lake Dallas allowed us to refocus,” Jackson said. “I thought Wednesday’s practice was the most focused practice we’ve ever had, and I thought Thursday was just an extension of Wednesday.”
Guyer 48, Denton 36
The Lady Wildcats (20-4, 9-2) were led by Lauren Heard’s 19 points and secured a 29-17 lead at halftime, something Guyer coach Harold Colson said was integral in withstanding the Lady Broncos’ late charge.
“They always play us tough,” Colson said. “When we come into games, we know it’s going to be a tough game, but we did a good job offensively and defensively of controlling the game, taking our time, being patient and choosing our spots. I think more than anything that helped us to win. I think if we had got up and down the floor with them, it wouldn’t have been good for us.”
The Lady Broncos (9-13, 3-8) climbed back within double digits, down seven for a significant part of the second half, but their offense was a no-show as Guyer’s defense limited Denton to two fourth-quarter points.
“If you look at our wins this year, I would say 90 percent of them were grinding games where we are winning on the free throw line or winning by getting a defensive stop,” Colson said. “It’s a credit to them to win games like that — keeping their composure and playing tough throughout the game.”
PATRICK HAYSLIP can be reached at 940-566-6873 and via Twitter at @PatrickHayslip.
Denton 63, Guyer 60
Guyer (13-9, 7-2) — Josh Jordan 20, Miles Crawford 17, Sean Choate 12, Mitchell Willard 6, Shelton Childress 2, Xavier Brown 2, Gordon Hill 1.
Denton (10-12, 6-3) — Deandre Coleman 15, Adarian Harris 12, Deamonte Hughes 12, Edson Vasquez 9, Keyandre Hearvey 7, Emerson Espinoza 6, Dolen Nicholson 2.
Guyer 48, Denton 36
Guyer (20-4, 9-2) — Lauren Heard 19, Bre Wickware 6, Sarah Mack 6, Ola Akinniyi 5, Ali Downard 5, Quamese Moss 4, Jade Calloway 2, Madi Franklin 1.
Denton (9-13, 3-8) — Alex Mcintosh 12, Jada Catlin 12, April Pena 5, Mariah Seastrunk 3, Taylor Allison 2, Key-Ali Wafer 2.