All of the sudden, Byron Nelson girls basketball coach Darren Wilson became a pretty popular coach at the Saginaw Boswell Holiday Classic because his team lost.
Well, let’s put some perspective on that. The Lady Bobcats lost to eventual tournament champion Hurst L.D. Bell, 42-37, in the first game last Thursday. But the effort caught other coaches attention because they played a really good game defensively against a squad that is considered the favorite in District 6-5A. Nelson (16-4, 3-1 in 5-4A) led 32-31 going into the fourth quarter.
“One of the coaches came up to me and said that was the championship game,” Wilson said. “We were down three with 20 seconds to go and just couldn’t get a shot to go down. But a lot of coaches wanted to get the film of that game to see what worked so well.
“I’m not too upset. We didn’t like the outcome but we showed we could play with some really good 5A teams. To hold Bell to 42 points is a heck of a great job by our girls. They will take a lot from that game.”
Byron Nelson wound up winning the consolation bracket as it defeated Joshua, Fort Worth Western Hills and Frisco by an average of 24 points.
Top heavy 5-4A
District 5-4A may have already found its playoff teams as Wichita Falls Rider is setting the pace at 4-0 followed by Nelson, Denton Guyer and Azle all at 3-1. Nelson plays host to Guyer on Friday when district play resumes.
When Wilson started relaying his player’s scoring averages, he really wasn’t repeating himself. It just seemed like he was. His five starters are averaging within 1.3 points of each other.
Tralyn Woodard is at 10.0 points per game, while Shaila Wolter is at 9.7 followed by Madison Edwards and DaKesha Butler at 9.2. Sydney Smallwood is at 8.7. Plus, that quintet is averaging 12 assists per game.
“They’re all confident and trust each other,” Wilson said. “They play such an unselfish brand of basketball. That’s what I really like about this team.”
The Lady Texans (9-8, 1-3 in 4-5A) made a solid showing for themselves in the Saginaw Boswell Holiday Classic as they went 3-1. Northwest had wins over Joshua, Haltom and Saginaw Boswell to finish fifth. The only loss was to Bell.
“We’re not a bad team,” head coach Rusty Johnson said. “We had a bad quarter against Bell, but we played really well the other three. As long as we continue to believe in ourselves, we’re going to be OK. We had a good tournament.”
Friday’s district game against Keller Timber Creek is going to be important for this program to give itself to be in the playoff race. Johnson is hoping that the team can find a way to finish the first half at 3-4 so it can be in the conversation. Anything less than that makes the playoff chase even tougher. It’s clear this team really needs consistent scoring from its front court of Bailey Porter, Brianna Barnhill and freshman guard Alexis Brigham.
“We’re hoping there is a carryover,” Johnson said. “We have four good day of work over the week to get ready and make our push. We need Alexis, Brianna and Bailey to play at a high level for us.”