Sports > Schools
Boys basketball: Little Elm spoils title hopes
By Kody Brannon, Special to the Leader
LITTLE ELM - Senior Devante' Pullum carried Little Elm (10-2) past The Colony (7-5) with 29 points Tuesday night as the Lobos defeated the Cougars, 64-47.
The contest was a rematch between district foes and featured a packed gym, making it evident this game was going to be a rowdy affair as the two student sections were throwing chants at each other.
The Cougars were able to use fast break points and quick transitions to keep Little Elm off guard in the opening frame. While the first quarter was low scoring at 14-7, the Cougars were able to use their momentum from the first to begin slowly pulling away in the first half of the second quarter.
However, The Colony was whistled for a technical foul at the midway point of the second and that was all Little Elm needed to wake the crowd up and change the game, as the Lobos captured the momentum and made a comeback to establish a 24-21 halftime lead.
The Colony had trouble getting shots to fall at the start of the third period. Pullum took over in the third frame though and willed the Lobos to extend their lead.
Between the crowd and Pullum's efforts in the third, the Lobos jumped out to a 46-30 lead and never looked back.
"I love it," said Rusty Segler, Little Elm head coach. "It really boosts the boys' play when [the crowd] gets into it."
Despite a team-high 16 points from Cameron Williams and 14 points from Bobby White for The Colony, the Lobos wouldn't let the Cougars close the gap. Little Elm started to use the transition game and put more distance between themselves and the Cougars in the second half. The game featured Little Elm's first use of a zone defense this season and Segler noted he was pleased with his team's new-look defense.
"We hoped to catch the Cougars by surprise with it," he said.
The zone helped spark a revenge victory for Little Elm, as the Lobos prevailed for a 64-47 win after dropping a Jan. 11 contest to the Cougars.
"There was more pressure not to lose this game," Segler said. "There was a need for a big win at home."
The playoff scenario was still up in the air entering Tuesday's finales (results not available as of press time) after the Cougars rebounded with a 62-59 win in double overtime over Frisco Liberty.
"It was just a good, fun game," said Cleve Ryan, The Colony head coach. "I was proud of the guys for the effort they showed and for not quitting."
Four players posted double figures for the Cougars, including Jared Wiseman (17), White (14), Ryan Webster (11) and Williams (11).
"We've had different people step up and give big minutes, especially since we lost (starting point guard) Blake Chicoine to injury," Ryan said. "Guys are coming off the bench and playing well and others are adjusting to new roles and playing different positions."
The Colony led most of the way before Liberty closed with a 13-8 advantage in the fourth.
"We had the ball near the end of regulation but turned it over and they had a chance to shoot for the win," Ryan said. "Fortunately, they missed it and I have to credit Ryan for a great hustle play to get back on defense and force the miss or we could have lost right there. Shane Mathieu also came up huge for us. It doesn't really show up in the scorebook, but he had three huge offensive rebounds to prolong possessions and hit the two free throws at the end for the win."
The Colony (8-5) enters its finale against Frisco (9-4) tied with Wakeland (8-5) for third and one game in front of Frisco Heritage (7-6). Wakeland and Heritage also played Tuesday but a win by the Cougars would guarantee a postseason position. A loss and The Colony could potentially be forced to compete in a play-in game.
"It's a crazy with all four of us playing each other," Ryan said. "But we're fortunate to be in a position where we control our own destiny and at worst we'll have a play-in."
-Justin Thomas contributed to this story