The Brownwood Lions tallied the first four points in their season opener Tuesday night at Warren Gym, then surrendered 16 in a row and never recovered in an eventual 57-42 loss to the San Angelo Lake View Chiefs.
The Lions crept to within four points early in the third period, and closed to within five points at the start of the fourth quarter, but Lake View kept head coach Josh Alcorn’s squad at arm’s length throughout the second half.
“We came out a bit sluggish and got down 16-4, and I was afraid for a little bit there that our kids couldn’t handle the speed of the game,” Alcorn said. “We were able to fight back and cut it to seven at halftime and I’m proud of them for that. We made some adjustments and rebounded a little better and played better defense.”
Bryant McDaniel led the Lions with 17 points, with 12 coming in the first half, trailed by six each from Kye Healer, Jeff Newton and Bryce Sawyer. Andrew Branham chipped in five points and Tyler Jackson finished with two.
For Lake View, Brandall Collins posted a game-high 20 points with 15 coming from Josh Dominguez and 10 contributed by Ryan Chaney.
Healer scored all six of the Lions’ first-quarter points, as Brownwood trailed by 13 after the opening stanza. It was the 5:44 drought between the second and third field goals — in which Lake View reeled off 16 straight points — that dug a hole too deep to escape.
“Being down early hurt our morale and confidence a little bit and it took a while to get that back,” Alcorn said. “If we would have stayed with them a little better early on it might have changed the outcome of the game. We have to get that corrected and come out better next time we play.”
The Lions did close the gap to 30-23 at halftime as McDaniel led the charge with a dozen points in the quarter. Another trey from McDaniel 11 seconds into the third trimmed Lake View’s lead to 30-26, which is as close as Brownwood would get the rest of the contest.
“We played really good defense and were rebounding well during that stretch,” Alcorn said. “They weren’t really taking good shots and then we’d get the rebounds.
“Offensively, we were converting our shots. We made some adjustments on how they were playing the pick and roll and got some good shots out of it.”
After Brownwood closed to within four, the Chiefs stretched the lead back to double digits, 39-29, with 4:28 left in the third period on a bucket by Jordan Everitt.
Brownwood again gradually cut into the Lake View lead, closing the gap to five points, 41-36, with 7:02 left when Jackson converted a floater on the base line.
Trailing 44-38 with 4:22 to go, the Lions allowed Chaney to score on an offensive rebound following his missed free throw on a one-and-one. The floodgates opened from there as Lake View finished with 13 of the final 17 points.
“We held them in check for a while and cut back into the lead, but then we’d give a few points and couldn’t quite get it back to even,” Alcorn said. “Things didn’t turn out well for us at the end, but I was definitely proud of them for fighting back and not giving up. That’s definitely a positive to take from tonight.”
The Lions return to action at 2 p.m. Saturday when they visit Class 3A No. 17 Waco Connally.