Despite a red-hot stretch since the Christmas break that has seen Guyer jump to No. 5 in the Class 6A rankings, coach Grant Long still sees room for improvement for his young team.
On Tuesday night in a District 6-6A clash against McKinney Boyd, that area came to the forefront. And once again, the Wildcats made up for some first-half woes to run away from Boyd for a 59-45 win.
Guyer trailed by seven points at halftime before outgunning its first-half point total in the third quarter alone to claim the lead and never look back.
“That’s the biggest way we can grow,” said Long, after his team closed the third quarter on a 14-0 run. “The ability is there. It’s coming out every game from start to finish, playing how we play and playing our best.”
That pivotal third-quarter run was spurred by sophomore Jalen Wilson, who scored 10 of his 14 points in the quarter and whose 3-pointer with 2 1/2 minutes left in the period started Guyer’s run. It immediately was followed by a Jake Roberts 3-pointer to stretch Guyer’s lead from one point to seven in 30 seconds.
“In the third quarter, once we started being aggressive and pushing the basketball, all of our offense came to the forefront and we started getting open looks,” Long said.
Long credited his team’s defensive performance that held the Broncos (12-9, 2-2 district) to 16 second-half points after they posted that total in the second quarter alone. The Guyer coach specifically mentioned reserve post player Luke Helgesen for providing a defensive spark.
“He brought a lot of energy and it really set the tone for our defense, and our rotations were great covering for each other,” Long said. “[The Wildcats] just really turned it on in the third quarter with their aggression, and that made all the difference in the world.
“When they decide to play, they can play against anybody.”
Sophomore point guard De’Vion Harmon led Guyer with 15 points and pulled down five rebounds, while Wilson led the Wildcats with 12 boards. Le’Tre Darthard scored eight points and Roberts seven.
“We have so many weapons, it doesn’t really matter who’s scoring,” Long said. “We have five guys averaging double figures, which I think is the true sign of a great team.”
The Wildcats (17-3, 4-0) will travel to Plano West on Friday for a matchup of the district’s two undefeated teams.
ADAM BOEDEKER can be reached at 940-566-6872 and via Twitter at @aboedeker.
Guyer 59, McKinney Boyd 45
McKinney Boyd (12-9, 2-2) — Charles Ross 6, Marc Collins 10, Aidan O’Brien 9, Osayimwen Osifo 4, Jacob Riding 7, Andrew Bowman 2, Tyrese Robinson 6, Kyle Macadam 2.
Guyer (17-3, 4-0) — Le’Tre Darthard 8, Chris Craig 5, Jalen Wilson 14, De’Vion Harmon 15, Jake Roberts 7, Mason Nitardy 2, Luke Helgesen 4, Grayson Carter 4.