In a homecoming of sorts, the North 7th grade boys basketball team hosted the Keller Comanches on Monday night; taking their home court for the first time in over a month. There was a distinct energy in the building right from the start and all 3 games lived up to the excitement.
To get started, the Cougars C squad got it going from the jump. In a game that was pretty evenly matched, both teams took time in the first half to feel each other out with North holding a 6 point lead at the break. Led by 11 points from Miguel Lopez Dos Santos (with 10 boards too), 10 points from Lenox Gillam, and 7 more from Ethan Kim, the Cougars stretched their led a bit more to start the third quarter before the Comanches upped the pressure and dug into the lead. In the 4th quarter, Keller jumped ahead and North had to fight back to give themselves a chance for the win. However, a final shot in the paint took an unfortunate bounce for the Cougars in the closing seconds and North fell to Keller with a final of 41-40 in a thriller.
In the following game, the North B team didn't wait to get started and were as hot as a Texas day in July as they ended the first period with a 20-0 score. Keller wasn't going to just lie down though and outpaced the Cougars in the second quarter to close the gap to 10 at the half. But North stayed in control throughout the second half, buoyed by a team-leading 17 points from Brady Bowden and 12 more from Ridham Babel. The final buzzer sounded with North taking a 46-34 victory to get back into the Win column!
And for the nightcap, the A game did not provide a chance for the energy to die down. Both the Cougars and the Comanches were ready for a test and played an even first half with both teams making little runs to keep momentum rolling. The third quarter was much of the same and North entered the 4th quarter trailing by 2 points. Jacob Anene was piling up the points, ending with 36 on the night to lead all scorers. And Pranik Boppana made a huge impact to support the North squad adding 11 points and 4 rebounds too. And when the 4th quarter ended, the scoreboard read 60-60 and the Cougars found themselves ready for a second overtime opportunity this year. By this time, fans from both schools were truly amped up and the gym was throbbing. And even though North took a lead to the closing seconds, a literal, last second 3 point shot for Keller managed to bounce three times on the rim and drop through to give the Comanches a 65-63 victory over North in a game that will be remembered for quite a while.
Despite the disappointment, hopefully the A team will be able to hold onto some of this energy as they head to a weekend tournament on Saturday to play 3 games and face some new competition. And all three teams will look to finish strong in the last 2 remaining district games to wrap up this season!
UP NEXT: Monday, 1/23 vs. Indian Springs MS (at home)