Katy High School, Tigers, Texas high school boys basketball, Katy ISD

Tigers turn up in 4th quarter for big win

By DENNIS SILVA II, Times Sports Editor
Posted 1/10/20

Like a thief in the night, Katy boys basketball coach Danny Russell told his Tigers, they would have to steal a road game at Tompkins.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in
Katy High School, Tigers, Texas high school boys basketball, Katy ISD

Tigers turn up in 4th quarter for big win

Posted

Like a thief in the night, Katy boys basketball coach Danny Russell told his Tigers, they would have to steal a road game at Tompkins.

And the Tigers did just that, heeding Russell’s advice and turning a one-point lead going into the fourth quarter into a 16-point advantage, courtesy of a 15-0 run through the first 2-minutes, 22-seconds of the final period, before settling for a 67-55 win on Friday, Jan. 10, at Tompkins High.

Sophomore guard Dayvaughn Froe (22 points, five rebounds) and senior guard Bryce Purchase (11 points) combined for 10 of those 15 points to start up the fourth as Katy got the initial upper hand between two playoff contenders.

The win put Katy at 2-1 in District 19-6A. Tompkins fell to 1-2 in district.

“Coach told us we had to stay focused and get the job done,” said Froe, who had 10 points in the fourth quarter. “We have to steal games on the road; we’re not just going to come and take it. Coach said like a thief in the night, we have to come steal it from them at their house.”

If there’s one team that understands how important one possession is—let alone one game—it’s Katy. The Tigers missed out on the playoffs by one game last season, when three of their defeats in district play came by seven points or less.

“Our mindset is to keep pushing and keep the foot on the gas,” said Purchase, who had eight points in the fourth quarter. “We know we have to go to another level when things get hard. We can’t just mope and hang our heads. We have to keep working.”

Defense was key. The Tigers held the Falcons without a point during the first three minutes of the fourth quarter by keeping them away from the rim. Tompkins made just 1 of 9 3-pointers in the period, and just 2 of 23 3s overall.

The effort in the final quarter was highlighted by an impressive chasedown block by Katy’s Ryon Johnson of Tompkins’ Johnny Nash.

“We were able to get multiple stops in a row,” Purchase said. “That really sparked us on the offensive side. Getting multiple stops is pretty big for us.”

It didn’t help Tompkins that star sophomore sharpshooter B.B. Knight, one of the top recruits in the class of 2022, left the game with 54.8 seconds remaining in the first quarter after suffering a dislocated left kneecap.

Knight, who departed with two points and his team trailing 18-8, had an MRI on Tuesday morning that showed no tears and only a kneecap dislocation. He could be back on the court as early as three weeks from now.

“When a caliber of player like he is goes out, you always want to play people at their best and beat people at their best, if you’re a competitor,” Russell said. “I think this world lacks competitors. But as far as altering our own game plan, absolutely (Knight’s absence made a difference). You have different players on the floor, and that’s going to change the game. Briefly, it worked against us; our guys had a little letdown on defense and Tompkins had players step up. But over the course of the game, we adjusted on the fly. Maybe it took us a little while; I don’t know. We secured some possessions, we battled.”

Through the first three games in district play—against Mayde Creek, Seven Lakes and Tompkins—Katy is allowing a stingy 49 points per game.

“Really, the difference-maker is us on the defensive end,” Russell said. “Our kids are doing a great job, and we’re able to translate that into offense. Our kids appreciate when we give good effort on the defensive end and we can complement on the other side of the floor. We’re playing better defensively, and it shows.”

Russell commended the intensity and rebounding of his undersized bigs, Connor Champion and Casper Belaiter. The pair combined for 13 rebounds against a taller, more athletic Tompkins frontcourt.

While Tompkins only had senior Hank Sanders (17 points) and Nash (15) finish in double-figure scoring, Katy had four players reach the mark in Froe, Chermane Sims (12), Purchase (11) and Belaiter (11). Johnson added eight.

“We were one game short of making the playoffs last year, so we know how much one game, one possession can change our entire season,” Froe said. “We all were hungry for this win.”

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment