SWEENY — The height and athleticism of the Lamar Consolidated Mustangs eventually wore out Danbury in a 59-20 Panthers loss Thursday in the first game of the day at the Randy Miksch/Raymond Washington Tournament.
Danbury (1-2) showed itself to be game early as it played its best quarter of the season, taking a 6-5 lead. Down 3-0, short jumpers by Chase Fulshear from the lane and Anthony Gomez gave Danbury a 4-3 lead. An inside move by Caleb Morales for a bucket put the Panthers up after the opening eight minutes.
“We had one solid quarter and were actually up on Lamar, which for my kids that is a huge accomplishment,” Danbury first-year coach Ben Thompson said.
“Our offense ran the right way and our players were talking to each other in that first quarter. On defense the kids were talking to each other, so our communication was good and we were hustling and moving as well.”
Lamar Consolidated struggled the whole first period, going 1-of-6 from the field, including 0-for-4 from beyond the three-point line.
The opening quarter proved an aberration for both teams as the Panthers were held to just 14 points the rest of the way while the Mustangs woke up to score 54 points.
The Mustangs went 11-of-23 from the field in the second quarter, outscoring Danbury 26-4 to post a 31-10 halftime advantage. Khalil Wells (13 points) and Terrell Ray (11 points) were the big scorers for the Mustangs in the first half.
Danbury was outmanned in about every way possible against the Class 5A Mustangs, but Thompson believes his team played well despite the lopsided outcome.
“We lost some players today to testing, so I had to bring in some JV players and some jitters got ahold of those kids,” Thompson said. “But I was more pleased today about their performance than all of the games we had played up until today. We actually played good, solid basketball, and I know we have a lot to build on.”
Gomez led Danbury with four points and Morales and Kerry McKinney each scored three.
EL CAMPO 53, DANBURY 28: The Ricebirds had too much of everything on the Panthers in rolling to an easy win over the smaller school.
A running clock in the second half proved how far back Danbury was. El Campo jumped out to a 17-5 first-period lead behind a pair of treys from the wing by Reynaldo Villarreal and four points from Tanner Oldag.
The Ricebirds more than doubled their advantage in the second stanza as post Reagan Spenrath converted on two long three-pointers to finish with 10 points in the quarter with El Campo taking a commanding 37-12 halftime lead.
Danbury will return to the tournament Saturday to play a couple of more games.
“I would love for us to duplicate that first quarter against Lamar Consolidated. That would be a great way to allow us to have some success,” Thompson said. “We will have a few more seniors or varsity players on Saturday, so we should be more consistent.”