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    No. 33, Charles Hunt muscles through Viking defense. Photo by Ron Adair

Tiger Basketball 2 and 1 at Westlake Shootout

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This win gives the Tigers an 11-3 record.

During the holidays, the Tigers played in the Westlake Shootout with three other teams, one being Westlake. Instead of cramming a bunch of games into a short period of time, this one allowed one game a day. DS opened with St. Michael's taking the game 57-49. By virtue of the win they were paired the second day with Westlake, a state-ranked 6A school. Despite a good effort, the Tigers could not come out on top with a loss of 77-59. Next, the Tigers would open district play with Navarro (formerly Lanier) and had little problem in the 71-40 win.

The first quarter of the St. Michaels game was a little slow with the Tigers holding a 9-7 lead. From that point the nets would become frazzled from use as the Tigers pushed through 18 in the second and third quarters. The Tigers held a 27-14 lead at the half. They would expand that to 45-24 after three. The fourth quarter was turned over to the reserves. They were 17-29 from the two but struggled from the three with a 2-13 night. Always a plus was the 17-21 from the line.

Westlake truly has a ranked quality in size and would be a formidable task but good experience. A common opponent had been Lake Travis. The Tigers eked out a 61-60 win while Westlake pummeled them 68-38. Westlake held a 21-17 margin after one. At the half it was 39-27. In all probability, Westlake substituted a little more liberally during the second half as the Tigers stayed in the game. After three it was 58-42. The shooting percentages were good as the Tigers were 16-30 from two, 6-18 from three and 9-13 from the line.

In today's basketball world the three-point line is a barrier on the court with few teams choosing to force the ball inside the arc with the intent of scoring. Don't have to be as accurate to score the same amount of points. Not much action inside. Don't have to learn how to block out for rebounds because most rebounds have to be chased down from the long bounces from the three attempts. Not many second chances. Not as much stress on tight defensive skills for much the same reasons. Also why shots other than layups become a challenge to make and even break away layups are missed with regularity. In warmups the emphasis is on dunking or long shots. Spectators do not get to watch total basketball skills being performed in the games. Very little hustle up and down the court. 

Navarro game represented much of that. The Tigers would be 11-26 from three and 18-30 from the two. Jayden Guevara quickly popped a three and 14 seconds in the Tigers were up 3-0. Navarro must have decided they could not stay with the Tigers so tried to play some keep away but were not skilled enough in the ball-handling department to accomplish it. Meanwhile, Guevara and Xavier Phillips would account for all the points with DS leading 14-8 after one.

It was just a continuum for the rest of the game. Eight Tigers contributed points in the second quarter as DS went to the dressing room with a comfortable 34-16 lead. The lead continued to grow in each quarter with third ending 54-29.

This win gives the Tigers an 11-3 record. Their biggest district test, LBJ, ranked in state, came last Tuesday at LBJ. Tomorrow night, the Tigers will host Lockhart. Game time is 7:00pm.

Vs SM: Guevara 18, Trace Young 12, Phillips 8, Aiden Bailey 8, Jackson Friedman 7, Kasen Embrey 3, Eli Tod 1.

Vs Westlake: Guevara 19, Young 12, Phillips 9, Bailey 7, Friedman 6, Luke Lawyer 6.

Vs Navarro: Guevara 17, Phillips 13, Hayden Shields 10, Bailey 8, Max Stewart 5, Embrey 5, Charles Hunt 4, Tony Parra 3, Felix Gonzales 2, Friedman 2, Lawyer 2.

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