ABILENE — The first quarter of Friday’s game between Big Spring and Abilene Wylie was a lot like the final minutes of the first game between these two squads.
Heartbreaking for the Steers, uplifting for the Bulldogs.
With a chance to win the District 5-3A crown at stake, Big Spring fell to Wylie 69-54 on the road and for the second time this season.
In the first Big Spring-Wylie meeting on Jan. 28, the Bulldogs’ Lance Lindley hit a huge 3-pointer with 28 seconds left to lift his team past the Steers.
That wasn’t needed this time around. Wylie quelled the Steers emphatically in the first quarter Friday. The Bulldogs raced out to a 14-1 lead and finished the quarter on top 27-5.
“I don’t think a team anywhere in America at any level can come in and play worse than we did that first quarter,” BSHS head coach Cliff Thompson said. “They played about as well as they could play in that first quarter.”
Wylie’s D.C. Harrison gave the Bulldogs a quick spark in the first quarter, scoring 10 of the Bulldogs’ first 14 points. Marc Segundo’s free throw at the 4:51 mark was the Steers’ first point of the quarter. The first field goal didn’t come until Devante Lloyd scored at the 2:51 mark.
Lindley got involved when he hit two consecutive 3-pointer to end the quarter, prompting the 27-5 lead.
The second quarter was a little better for Big Spring. The Steers held Wylie to 10 points and closed the gap to 13 heading into halftime. However, Wylie already did enough damage early on to prevent a serious Big Spring comeback.
The underlying stat from the first half? Big Spring standout guard Luke Adams had six points.
Thompson said in no way did Adams have a bad game Friday night, hence the 29 points the senior ended up scoring. Credit goes to Wylie’s defense, which was not just aggressive on Adams, but on other key shooters, too, such as Segundo.
Most teams have tried to run various zone defenses in hopes of slowing Adams down, but Thompson noted Wylie’s commitment to man-to-man defense. The Bulldogs were just disciplined and it made a difference.
Wylie head coach Russell Perkins said there was a lot of energy surrounding his team Friday night with a chance to win the district championship at home.
“Our kids were really excited to play,” he said. “We weren’t picked to win the district by anybody that I know of. We’ve talked about that a lot like ‘Hey, we may not have the best players, but we have a chance to have the best team because of the depth we have.’”