The Fort Worth Paschal Panthers kept Haltom’s offense in check long enough Tuesday night for Xavier Mayes to take over.Mayes scored more than half of Paschal’s points, dropping 25 in a 49-31 victory over the Buffaloes on Paschal’s home court. Paschal (6-1) held Haltom scoreless in the first quarter while taking a 4-0 lead. That’s when Mayes went to work, knocking down a 3-pointer and then another bucket within the first minute of the second quarter. He scored all his points in the last three quarters.“He’s an explosive player,” Paschal boys basketball coach David Watson said of Mayes. “He plays so hard. When he’s under control, as hard as he plays and as talented as he is, he can really make some things happen. He’s going to be a handful for some teams this year.” Haltom (1-5) didn’t score until the 4:27 mark of the second quarter when Clifton Hardin hit a pair of free throws. Hardin, who finished with eight points, had a bucket two minutes later for Haltom’s first field goal of the night. “We pride ourselves on defense,” Watson said. “We’ve actually held a couple teams to under 10 points in the first quarter, so we knew it was something we were capable of.”Still, the Buffaloes stayed within two buckets by halftime, trailing 18-13. A bucket by Kevin Ricks cut Paschal’s lead to three points early in the second half. But Mayes countered with two 3-pointers and a pair of free throws, helping push the Panthers’ lead to 30-23 after the third quarter. A 3-pointer from Damon Smith to open the final quarter gave Paschal a double-digit lead it would keep the rest of the night.Ricks led the Buffaloes with 11 points. Dylan Thomas had seven points for Paschal.
Ryan Osborne, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @RyanOsborneFWST