Boys Basketball Insider: Paschal boys learning how to win

Posted Monday, Jan. 27, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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Fort Worth Paschal head coach David Watson spent six seasons daydreaming as an assistant coach about how he would handle his own program.

One thing was certain, and he knew from the first day he stepped into the gym at Paschal this past fall, his teams were going to learn how to win.

“They were used to losing here over the last few years,” Watson said. “And when you get used to that, you become OK with it. We talked from Day One about learning how to win.”

The Panthers have rocketed higher and faster than anyone thought, including their first-year coach.

“Had you told me we’d be 15-8 and be holding a playoff spot at this point, I’d have taken that without question,” he said. “But the reality is that I thought this would be not only a tougher year, but one that we really had to work on buying into a new system.”

Watson’s players have proved his expectations wrong, but his passion for creating a winning atmosphere right.

Paschal holds a one-game lead in the District 3-5A standings over North Crowley for the fourth and final playoff spot with 2 1/2 weeks left in the regular season.

That improvement hasn’t been by accident or luck. Watson’s crew runs unique offenses and defenses that district foes will only see twice during the season.

“That doesn’t really give us an advantage, it just brings the playing field closer,” Watson said. “I was a big fan of the El Paso Montwood teams that have given North Crowley so much trouble in the playoffs. I wanted to bring versions of what they do into my system.”

That entails a half-court motion offense that has all five players constantly moving. It creates numerous back-door opportunities and opens up the perimeter.

Taking advantage of that has been senior Xavier Mayes, who’s averaging 17 points per game.

“It would have been very simple for him to decide that he was going to do it his way in his senior season,” Watson said. “He bought in and there’s no doubt now he’s a first team all-district kind of player.”

Watson said sophomore Tyrik Price has also worked himself into consideration for all-district honors.

Price, at 6-foot-4, is averaging 11.0 points per game, shooting 34 percent from the 3-point arc and blocking 1.5 shots per game, having moved from the inside to a true guard spot on varsity.

Dylan Thomas, coming off a strong season at quarterback for Paschal’s football team, also added athleticism that has allowed the Panthers to press full-court and play a match-up zone half-court defense.

“We just need to stay away from the trap of looking ahead,” Watson said. “We know Lamar and North Crowley are right here with us, but we also know that taking care of business, maybe winning three of our final five games, will get us where we want to go.”

Securing a title?

Trophy Club Nelson meets Denton Guyer on Tuesday night in the second District 5-4A meeting of the year.

It’s a chance for the Bobcats (19-6, 8-1) to put up a two-game lead on second-place Guyer with four games remaining in the district slate.

Nelson, which lost by 10 points to Wichita Falls in its only district loss, beat Guyer 62-47 earlier this month.

Emmanuel Nzekwesi is averaging 21.0 points and 11.2 rebounds per game for Nelson.

“We graduated nine seniors so obviously with a new group of kids it’s been important for them to buy into the system,” Nelson coach Scott Curran said. “Nothing’s different from how we’ve done it the last several years. Obviously we’re in a good position right now.”

Bombs away

The Grapevine Faith Lions have fired off almost as many 3-point attempts as the two-point variety this season.

Faith has 871 attempts this season, connecting on 34 percent of them.

Kyle Carter has hit 95 3-point shots and is averaging 20.4 points per game.

He’s followed closely by Zachariah Postema with 83 and Dalton Standish with 76.

Faith is 18-9 on the season and averaging 80.4 points per game.

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