The Cooldown- Week 21

Cover Photo via the Dallas Morning News/ Rebecca Slezak
We are fully entrenched in district play now as the schedule starts to turn over and teams across the metroplex get into the last half of the district schedule and the stretch run before the playoffs. We got a preview at how some of the best teams in the metroplex handle pressure last week and we’ll recap some of those games below!
Richardson Outlasts Lake Highlands

Richardson has long been known as one of the best teams in the area with arguably the best backcourt in the nation with Rylan Griffen and Cason Wallace. Lake Highlands has recently exploded onto the scene with star sophomore guard Tre Johnson. The two teams met for the first time this season last Tuesday at Lake Highlands in front of a sold-out crowd.

Richardson beat Lake Highlands 85-78 despite a furious rally from Lake Highlands in the second half. Richardson led by 19 points at halftime, but Lake Highlands rallied to take a one-point lead with just over four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Trailing by two points with just under two minutes remaining, Griffen took over. Richardson went on a 9-0 run to end the game and Griffen scored six of the nine points with Wallace assisting Tre Howell on a three-point shot to take the lead back for good.

Griffen finished with 30 points in the game and 12 points in the fourth quarter. Timmie Jordan scored 20 points and Wallace finished with 15 points. Howell scored nine points and sunk the most critical shot of the night to put Richardson ahead for good. Super sophomore Tre Johnson led the way for Lake Highlands with 37 points, including a 14-point performance in the fourth quarter. Quinton Perkins scored 13 points for Lake Highlands and Kyle Moran chipped in eight points in the loss. These two teams will meet again in a few weeks at Richardson.

Denton Guyer beats McKinney

Denton Guyer and McKinney put on a show in Denton last Tuesday in a matchup of two of the best metroplex area teams in 6A. Denton Guyer held on to beat McKinney 83-81 after holding a large halftime advantage.

Denton Guyer led McKinney 49-33 at halftime before McKinney rallied to make it a game in the second half. Only five players scored for the Wildcats and all five scored in double figures. KyeRon Lindsay led the way with 29 points and Connor Newton scored 20 points for Denton Guyer thanks to a flurry of three-point baskets. Jeremiah Green scored 13 points and Jordan Lowery chipped in 11 points. Jace Wilson rounded out the scoring effort for Denton Guyer with 10 points.

Ja’Kobe Walter was simply fantastic on Tuesday night. Walter finished with 49 points and scored 34 of those points in the second half to help the Lions mount a comeback. Devin Vincent chipped in 14 points and Thatcher McClure added nine points in the loss. These two teams will meet again in McKinney in a few weeks in what will be a must-watch game.

Garland defeats Naaman Forest

Garland outlasted Naaman Forest in a 62-57 win behind a 26-point fourth quarter effort. The Owls trailed by two points heading into the fourth quarter before the Garland offense really got going.

Zuby Ejiofor scored 18 points and did a little bit of everything for Garland in the win. Joshua Valiaveedu added 12 points for the Owls while Chukes Ejiofor scored 10 points and Chauncey Carter finished with nine points. Autavious Hobbs scored a game-high 20 points for Naaman Forest and Drealyn Mosley added 19 points in the loss. Hobbs and Mosley combined to scored 39 of the 57 points Naaman Forest scored. Coleman Craddock was the next highest scorer for Naaman Forest with six points.

Other News and Notes

Four-star recruit Justin McBride has re-joined an undefeated Plano squad after transferring to Oak Hill. McBride came off the bench in his first game back with Plano and scored four points in the win over Flower Mound Marcus.

The DeSoto girls played in the ESPN Girl’s Invitational Basketball Tournament over the weekend. The Eagles faced off against Grandview (CO) and trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half before bouncing back for a 68-54 win. Tionna Herron scored 16 points for DeSoto in the win over Grandview. The Lady Eagles faced the top ranked team in the nation in the Championship Game of the ESPN Girl’s Invitational Tournament. Sidwell Friends handed DeSoto its only loss of the season back in December and won the rematch with DeSoto 60-55 to win the ESPN Girl’s Invitational Tournament. Sidwell Friends has to close the game on an 11-0 run after trailing DeSoto by six points with just over two minutes remaining in the game. Herron led the scoring effort for DeSoto with 19 points in the loss. The Lady Eagles will take on nationally ranked Duncanville on Tuesday in a must-watch game.

It was a rough week for the Southlake Carroll men after losses to Byron Nelson and Keller. The Dragons allowed Byron Nelson star Finley Bizjack to score 17 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter as Byron Nelson beat Southlake Carroll 62-55 on Tuesday night. Then the Dragons hosted Keller on Friday night and allowed Blake Bahr to cut through the teeth of the defense and score the game-winning layup with just three seconds left in a 51-49 loss. Bahr scored 23 points in the win for Keller.

Player of the Week

My Player of the Week is Richardson’s Rylan Griffen! When the pressure was on Richardson, Griffen stepped up and delivered on the road and in front of a sold-out crowd. Griffen took over down the stretch, scoring six of the last night points of the game to power Richardson past Lake Highlands 85-78. Griffen scored a game-high 30 points in the win over Lake Highlands on Tuesday night and followed that up with another 30-point performance in a big win over Jesuit on Friday night!

Cover Photo of the Richardson basketball team courtesy of the Dallas Morning News and Staff Photographer Rebecca Slezak.