On the heels of their undefeated performance at the Breckenridge tournament earlier this week, the Brownwood Lions begin the 2016 calendar year with a 4 p.m. New Year’s Day road game against the Brady Bulldogs.
The Lions (9-4), who have more than doubled last season’s four total victories, will be seeking a four-game win streak following triumphs over Dublin (69-64), Jacksboro (55-53) and previously-unbeaten Coleman (69-59) earlier this week.
Despite still playing more games than having practices, second-year head coach Grant Freeman is thrilled with the progress the Lions have made thus far.
“When you come into a tournament after a long break, especially 10 days off, you never really know how the kids are going to react,” Freeman said following the Lions’ 10-point victory over Coleman in Wednesday’s tournament finale. “Playing a Coleman team that’s undefeated and coming out with that type of win, the Brownwood Lions are playing some good basketball right now and I’m really pleased with these kids.”
Cory Richardson scored a career-high 30 points against Coleman and finished in double figures in all three games. McLane Moore led the charge with 14 points in the win over Jacksboro, while Blaine Hughes added a pair of double-digit scoring efforts and Crystan Wright was a solid contributor on the offensive end as well.
Brownwood experienced victories in a variety of fashions at Breckenridge. In the tournament opener, the Lions rallied from a 10-point deficit early to upend Dublin. Against Jacksboro, the Lions opened a 14-point lead after three periods, then had to hold on late.
However, the Coleman performance — which included erasing a six-point deficit after one quarter by halftime — is perhaps the most complete of the season for the Lions, whose District 6-4A opener at state-ranked Abilene Wylie is looming Jan. 15.
Brady’s most recent outing was a 61-52 victory over Holliday in Wednesday’s third-place game at the Eula tournament. The Bulldogs also defeated Huckabay, 52-45, and Graford, 78-73 in overtime, with its only loss of the week coming against Childress, 53-40.