Road Warriors: Eagles topple McKinney ISD for 2-0 start to 10-5A
The Allen boys basketball team may still be one game under .500 overall, but the Eagles are undefeated where it counts: District 10-5A.
Tuesday's 73-59 victory over McKinney continued a torrid twosome of games for the Eagles, who sit at 2-0 in district thus far.
"We're feeling pretty good right now," said Jeff McCullough, Allen head coach. "We've been able to go on the road and get two wins. From a playoff perspective, we've created some separation, but by no means are we content with where we're at right now."
The Eagles have led after each quarter in both 10-5A outings -- a feat they achieved just three times during non-district play. In the case of Tuesday's win, the Eagles barnstormed the Lions with a 42-32 outpouring in the first half.
Chalk the offensive assertion up to the Allen guards and wings, with four players breaking double digits Tuesday.
Sophomore Olin Carter led the team with 19 points while junior Myron Fishers scored 14, senior Cameron Epps added 13 and junior Tay Evans chipped in 12.
"Some guys are playing at a high level right now," McCullough said. "Cameron Epps' numbers weren't huge, but he did a great job handling McKinney's pressure and Olin Carter bounced back really well and scored some big points for us."
Defensively, the Eagles fell victim to 20 points from McKinney's Connor Fuentes, who accounted for more than one-third of the Lions' total output. But post threat Raynell Denny and guard Jonathan Shannon were limited to nine and seven points, respectively.
"The big thing for us was to stop [Denny] from getting easy baskets down low," McCullough said. "We wanted to limit [Shannon] as well, but we knew [Fuentes] would get some baskets at the expense of taking those other two away."
The lone blemish in Tuesday's win came when Evans reaggravated a nagging shoulder injury in the third.
"It's not going away," McCullough said. "It's an injury [Evans] sustained early in football ... ultimately, it's something that may require surgery but that's for the doctors to figure out. Right now, he wants to continue to play but we'll have to see where he's at on Friday."
The Lions managed to trim Allen's lead to 57-50 after three before the Evans-less Eagles ballooned their margin to 73-59 following a 16-9 count in the final eight minutes.
It made for a worthy encore after the Eagles toppled then-thrice-beaten McKinney Boyd on the road, 49-43, Jan. 11. Allen eyes a 3-0 start Friday at 7:30 p.m. when they host Plano Senior.
"It's great for these kids to have a little success," McCullough said. "We've talked about changing the culture with basketball at Allen and to get these first two wins is huge. I think these kids are really buying in and starting to believe."
Lady Eagles drop two straight
Since coming within a hairline of upsetting Plano West, the Allen girls basketball team has lost two straight.
The latest came Tuesday when McKinney dealt the Lady Eagles a 59-53 setback. Previously, Allen dropped a 58-43 decision to Boyd. After entering 10-5A play at 17-6, Allen now sits at 1-3 in district and 18-9 overall. The Lady Eagles attempt to right the ship Friday with a 6 p.m. home tipoff against Plano.
The Lady Wildcats are the district's lone unbeaten team after shocking Plano West on Tuesday, 72-62.
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