Sports > Schools
Cold shooting night: Cowboys grind out road win over Wolves
Coppell boys basketball head coach Kit Pehl called two timeouts in a 25-second span inside the final 90 seconds of Friday's matchup with Plano West.
Dealt a different defensive set by the Wolves each possession, Pehl was merely seeking out a defense that gave the Cowboys the best crack at executing down the stretch.
Those late-game efforts paid off for Coppell, grounding the Wolves for a narrow 48-44 victory.
"I really think the schedule we've played to this point helped us," Pehl said. "We've been in games like this a bunch this year, so to really get stops when we needed them was big."
It was making those stops that eluded the Wolves down the stretch, most notably after Pehl's second timeout late in the fourth quarter. The ensuing Coppell possession saw senior Walter Munnings feed junior Josh Feitl for a lay-in and a 46-44 lead with 30 seconds left.
Fifteen seconds later, the Wolves surrendered possession back to the Cowboys after senior Devron Kennedy was called for traveling while spinning baseline for an attempted game-tying bucket.
"We just have to execute better," said Anthony Morgan, West head coach. "You're going against a very scrappy team and we just didn't execute like we needed to. We're working some new guys in but our execution in the half-court wasn't very good."
The Cowboys extended their lead to two possessions for good following a pair of timely free throws by junior Simi Socks, who was 4-of-8 from the charity stripe prior to sinking the two game-sealing makes.
"Ironically, that play we had at the end was for [Socks]," Pehl said. "I wanted him to overcome that and to go knock them down. I'm glad he did."
Socks also had a hand in the game's fifth and final lead change at 44-41, converting an and-1 set up by junior Landon Goesling on an inbounds play with 3:23 left in the fourth.
Goesling and Socks had their fingerprints all over Friday's win, with the former scoring a game-high 12 points to go along with four assists and the latter chipping in 10 points.
"When [Goesling] isn't scoring himself, he's getting others involved," Pehl said. "His offensive mindset is different from anyone else on the team. Not only does he facilitate, but his aggressiveness leads to good stuff for everyone else."
Goesling scored seven of his 12 points in the second half on three field goals -- a figure that's notable because Coppell's cross-court counterparts mustered just three made field goals of their own in the second half.
Yet the Wolves still trailed by two (37-35) after three quarters and even led at 41-39 with five minutes left in the game. West hung tight thanks to 16 consecutive free-throw makes in the second half, including 10 by junior Tre Anderson.
"[Anderson] kept us in the game," Morgan said. "We just weren't moving well enough to get open looks but he kept getting fouled going to the rim. That was one of the things we wanted to have happen and he made his free throws."
Anderson scored all his points at the charity stripe, while sophomore D.J. Hogg added 10 points and five boards of his own. Hogg did the bulk of his damage in a first half that saw West lead more often than not.
Forcing seven turnovers en route to possessing a 13-10 lead after one quarter, West suffered its first deficit of the contest at 19-18 following a Goesling layup with 2:20 left in the second quarter.
The Cowboys would carry a 23-21 edge into halftime and display that same late-quarter execution two quarters later for the victory. With both teams returning to action Thursday in the Whataburger Tournament, Coppell hosts Bullitt East (Ky.) at 5:45 p.m. while West meets Long Beach Poly (Ca.) at 8:45 p.m.
For continued news and coverage on the local sports scene, follow @MWelchSCN on Twitter.