Northwest’s boys basketball season reached what could be considered a crossroads last week. The Texans dropped a pair of games to Northwest ISD rival Byron Nelson and Keller Timber Creek.
While the losses didn’t paralyze the season – the Texans are 8-11, 1-2 in District 5-6A – the week did reveal where the Texans could be in trouble if something doesn’t change. With senior post Darril Eyaa held to a combined 13 points (11 points against Nelson and two against Timber Creek), it left senior guard Elijah Chirstman on an island to try and carry the load of the offense.
That’s why Northwest needs a strong bounce back week this week against Denton Ryan and Keller. A split keeps the Texans in a pretty solid position. Getting swept really impairs playoff hopes. A sweep speaks for itself.
“We’re having a hard time scoring and because we’re putting so much on Elijah, and that’s tough,” coach Mike Hatch said. “We’ve got to get him some help and generate some more things offensively. I think we’re doing well with our defense. That’s keeping us in the game. We just need to do some things to help the offense.”
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Christman had a pretty good week. He scored 15 and 21 points respectively. But opponents are finding that if they make life difficult for Christman, they won’t mind making him work to get his share as long as others are not hurting them.
Hatch said he was going to make a lineup change for this week. He was expected to start senior guard Tavien Ezell against the Raiders. Typically the first player off the bench because he brings energy and a scoring presence, Ezell scored 10 points in the 62-49 loss to the Falcons.
“Ezell has some offensive explosiveness,” he said. “His athleticism gives him a chance to put the ball in the basket. We just need some things that will help us with the way we move and score the basketball.
“We just don’t need to put ourselves in a hole and try to dig our way out of it. We can’t keep starting that way.”
Byron Nelson update
The Bobcats (11-7, 1-2 in 5-6A) got the split they were looking for last week. But it came in the reverse order. They won at Northwest but lost in overtime at home to Denton Guyer.
There are two ways to look at Nelson’s two district losses to Guyer and Keller. They missed a shot at the buzzer in a 44-42 loss to the Indians. They met the same fate against the Wildcats. It represents that they can play with the top teams in the district. But they were one play away from pulling off the win. However, they will play those teams on the road when the second half of district play begins in two weeks. So while they were close, they missed a chance to protect their home floor.
“Really, both of these games could have gone either way,” coach Scott Curran said. “The Guyer game was a great game. We played well. I like our team and the way we continue to play through each possession on offense and defense.”
Nelson played at Keller Central on Tuesday and plays host to Keller Fossil Ridge on Friday.
Senior point guard Kadeem Ellington is running the offense the way Currant wants. He’s averaging 5.3 points and 2.2 turnovers per game. “He’s just finding guys in the right spot,” Curran said. “As he goes, we go.”