Sports > Schools
Top sports stories of the year: No. 4
Boys basketball: Lobos hold off Cougars for district title
By Blaine Crimmins, Staff writer
For the first time in the program's history, the Little Elm Lobos are district champions. They did it with defense, tenacity, and by sweeping the season series with one of the best teams in the state.
Little Elm defeated The Colony, 68-65, on Tuesday night in another dramatic, down-to-the-wire game typical of these two teams. With the win, Little Elm completes an undefeated District 4-4A season to win the district championship, which they got to celebrate on their opponents' court.
Lobo head coach Rusty Segler said every coach starts the year with the goal of being 12-0. It was the goal last year, too. It was clear all the hard work had paid off as Segler's players hoisted the trophy.
"To beat a program like The Colony twice in a year is just incredible," Segler said. "I have so much respect for them, everyone does. To do it on their floor and win is just incredible."
The Lobos were led in scoring by Devante Pullum with 23 points. Pullum helped set the tone early by going 4-for-5 from the field in the first quarter, including a 3-pointer. His dribble penetration was a problem for The Colony all night, as was Biron Joseph in general, who scored 21 points on a variety of shots around the basket.
For The Colony, head coach Cleve Ryan felt a rebounding disadvantage most contributed to the Cougars' defeat.
"They hurt us on the boards and that's an area we're supposed to control and we didn't do that," he said.
Zach LeDay led the Cougars with 20 points, including 9-of-10 free-throw shooting in the second half as The Colony fought to stay in the game. Damien McIntosh scored 16, half of which came in the fourth quarter. Bobby White also had a late impact on the game, hitting two big 3-pointers to keep it close.
But Pullum and Joseph kept finding their way to the basket, and The Colony trailed by as much as 11 points in the fourth.
The Cougars (29-5, 10-2) finish in second place in District 4-4A. They'll be looking to shake off the sting of Tuesday's loss and start preparing for the playoffs.
"We've just got to regroup a little bit and get ready for what the playoffs bring." Ryan said. "From here on out, if you're not ready to play then the season will be over with. We're lucky tonight that we get another chance to come back and play again."
Little Elm (26-6, 12-0), meanwhile, has a night to enjoy the district title before gearing up for the next round.