For starters, Byron Nelson (19-6, 8-1) is all alone in first place in District 5-4A as the week began.
Moving forward, the kind of defense this team is playing is nothing beyond what head coach Scott Curran wants and expects for the remainder of the season. Curran has always prided his program on its ability to play stifling man-to-man defense. The Bobcats have not allowed more than 53 points in each of their first nine district games. In fact, they have allowed teams to surpass 50 points twice.
“Definitely, it’s been getting better all season,” Curran said. “That’s what is going to win games. The kids are well aware of what it means to play good defense.”
The Bobcats led Denton Guyer by one game as the teams met Tuesday in Denton. A Byron Nelson victory – Nelson won the first meeting, 62-47 – would provide a two-game lead with four to play.
Curran is aware of the athleticism that Guyer offers. But he’s relying on his defense to make the same kind of stops that it has been making for most the season. Nelson’s next win would give the program 20 wins for the fourth consecutive season.
“We have a team full of kids, who have jut continued to grow,” Curran said. “When you get to 20 wins it’s a special thing. It is a big deal. But we obviously have more things to accomplish this year.”
Trips to Wichita Falls are over, and Curran couldn’t be more relieved. Although the Bobcats won at Rider, 46-37, those bus rides are an odd experience. Remember, this team lost at Old High, 53-43, on Jan. 7. “It’s just a different trip,” Curran said. “When I was in Denison, it was the same thing. It’s a long road game to play. Maybe the kids lose focus and we’re not as mentally tough. But we were ready against Rider.” … Sophomore post Jack Nobles is becoming a valued part of this team with double-figure scoring games (10 and 13) against Rider and Lake Dallas. “He’s a tough kid,” Curran said. “He brings it to practice every day, and is a confident kid. His ceiling is so high.”
Sometimes, you don’t win games. You escape with wins. The Texans (20-5, 7-2 in District 4-5A) got out of Carroll last Friday with a 51-50 victory thanks to post David Ogunwolu’s block of the game-winning shot attempt as time ran out.
It’s been a frustrating season for Ogunwolu, who hasn’t been involved in the offense like he has in the past. He’s averaging 7.3. points and 5.3 rebounds per game.
“What he did on the block was a shot in the arm for him and for us,” head coach Mike Hatch said. “It hasn’t been easy for him because he’s usually been matched against someone who is taller. There hasn’t been that much success. Hopefully, he’s coming out of it.”
The Texans are tied for second with Keller. They are two games ahead of fourth-place Richland, whom they will play Friday. They met Keller Timber Creek on Tuesday.
For this team to succeed, taking care of the ball is essential. The team is averaging 13 assists and 12 turnovers per game.
“We just have to keep stressing the same things,” Hatch said. “If we value the ball, we’ll be in every game.”