Lions improve to 2-1, Longhorns fall to 0-2

EARLY — The Brownwood Lions held the Early Longhorns scoreless over the initial 6:08 of action, racing out to a 14-0 advantage en route to a 55-17 non-district basketball victory Saturday afternoon.

Brownwood improved to 2-1 with the win, bouncing back from Monday’s 62-45 home loss to Lampasas, while Early slipped to 0-2 on the young campaign.

“That start gave us a lot of confidence to just sit back and play basketball,” said Lions head coach Nadir Dalleh. “I was afraid we might have our holiday legs underneath us, but we got out and ran the floor very well. I wasn’t surprised that our kids could do that, but sometimes the holidays get us.”

Early manufactured just five first-quarter points as the Longhorns trailed 17-5 after one period, then 23-9 at the break and 39-12 through three periods.

“We’re a young team,” said Early head coach Justin Moore. “When you have a bunch of sophomores and a freshman, the speed of the game is going to be a lot different for them. They’re going to have to wrap their mind around that and play with more anticipation instead of reaction.”

Nine Lions scored, paced by 10 points from Sean Yoder, eight each from Xavier Porter and Zach Strong, seven from A.J. McCarty, six from Blaize Infinger, five each from Blake Bronniman and Tristin Revada, four from Jaten Reeves and two points from Gavin Jefferson.

“I saw a lot more energy today than I did against Lampasas, but when you have 33 turnovers it does that to you,” Dalleh said. “We had a ton again today, but we also converted a lot more. I see the kids interacting and I love to see them talking to each other on the floor, that’s very important to the game. That’s the biggest positive.”

Timmy Smithson led Early with six points, Brent Grooms, Rowdy Elkins and Taylor Hurt added three each and Devyn Burns chipped in two.

“Half our guys were playing football so they weren’t in the gym like the offseason kids,” Moore said. “Hopefully by district we’ll be rocking and rolling. But with shooting, if you’re not doing it year round, it’s hard to be hot right off the bat.”

The Lions’ opening 14-point surge featured four points from Porter, three-pointers from Bronniman and McCarty and buckets from Yoder and Strong.

Leading by 12 after the first period, Brownwood committed 10 of its unofficial 20 turnovers during the second period, mustering just six points in the quarter which allowed the Longhorns — who also committed an unofficial 20 turnovers — to hang around despite managing just four points during the frame.

Neither team scored in the first 3:03 of the second half, but the Lions quickly tallied the first eight points of the third period — two each by Porter, Bronniman, McCarty and Yoder — to stretch the Brownwood lead to 31-9 with 3:17 left in the quarter.

A three-pointer by Elkins accounted for the only Early points of the period, as the Lions closed the quarter with another string of eight points to pad the cushion to 27 points.

Brownwood gradually extended its advantage in the fourth period as the Lions tallied the final eight points. A three-pointer by Hurt with 4:16 left accounted for Early’s last score of the contest.

The Lions will be back in action at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday when they welcome Jim Ned, while the Longhorns play host to Wall at 6 p.m. Tuesday.