North Crowley coach Tommy Brakel pointed out before Wednesday’s matchup against rival Crowley that his team hadn’t played a meaningful game in 17 days.
The team had practiced just twice since ice hit the Metroplex last week. But the Panthers were still too dominant for the Eagles, taking their 13th consecutive victory in this series, 72-47.
North Crowley (7-2) started slowly, but Brakel didn’t attribute that to the layoff.
“I’d love to say [it was the layoff],” he said. “But that’s the way this team has been. It’s a very inexperienced team. We just ebb and flow. We’ve had great runs at times, and at times we really struggle.”
Tommy Sing, the Panthers’ leading scorer, led the way again with 17 points. Caleb Banks pitched in 16 while Jordan Myers and Raymond Clark each added 10 off the bench.
Marcus Jones paced Crowley (0-5) with 12 points while Daneaz Moses contributed nine.
Crowley opened the game with a Moses 3-pointer, but North Crowley responded with the next seven points. The Eagles tied the game at 7-7, but a Banks bucket late in the first quarter gave the Panthers a 13-8 lead after one period.
Midway through the second quarter, Banks hit a pair of free throws following a Sing layup to give North Crowley a 19-10 lead and its largest advantage of the first half.
Keidric Brown’s layup brought Crowley back to within four at 24-20, but the Panthers netted the final three points of the half to take a 27-20 lead into the intermission.
North Crowley began to assert itself in the third period. Banks hit a 3-pointer with a minute left in the quarter to give the Panthers a commanding 47-29 lead. They would extend the lead to as many as 28 in the fourth quarter.
North Crowley has one more nondistrict tune-up against Wichita Falls Hirschi on Friday before opening District 3-5A play on Tuesday against Arlington Lamar.