The Justin Northwest boys turned up the defensive pressure Friday and ran away with a 55-42 victory over Fort Worth Paschal in both teams' final tune-up before basketball district play.
After falling behind 10-6 after one quarter, the Texans (9-7) stepped up on defense and turned the tables on Paschal, outscoring the Panthers 15-3 in one stretch. The run began with Heath Owens' last-second drive-and-score to close the first quarter, but was keyed in the second by the play of Northwest point guard Josh Tatum.
Tatum drove the lane and found Elijah Christman open inside for a basket midway through the second period that put Northwest up 15-10. Tatum finished with eight points and eight assists, while Christman, with 10 points, was one of three Texans who scored in double figures.
"Our point guard Josh Tatum made some great decisions," Northwest coach Mike Hatch said. "He put us in position to get easy buckets, or he made the shot himself."
After turning that 15-3 run into a 22-15 halftime lead, it was Northwest post Todd Christensen who kept the Texans going in the third quarter. He used his size in the lane to score on three consecutive possessions midway through the third as Northwest took a 31-18 lead.
Christensen led the Texans with 12 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots.
"In the third quarter, he just came out ready to go," Hatch said. "And that's what he's capable of doing. We didn't feel like [Paschal] had an answer for him, and we wanted to get him the ball."
Paschal's Xavier Mayes led all scorers with 15 points and had four steals. Darrell James added nine points for Paschal (5-10).
"In the second quarter, it was to [Northwest's] advantage when they pressured our guards," Paschal coach Ed King said. "But we also took a few shots that were outside our offense, and that didn't help us."
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