Carrying a three-game win into Friday’s home outing at Warren Gym, the Brownwood Lions were unable to keep the positive momentum rolling as the Gatesville Hornets took home a 65-50 victory.
Turnovers, many of which were unforced, proved to be the downfall of the Lions (7-6), who witnessed a six-point lead in the first quarter quickly evaporate as Brownwood was forced the play catch up the rest of the contest.
“We play so well the first part of every game, and then turnovers just absolutely kill us,” said Lions’ first-year head coach Nadir Dalleh. “We have to learn to take of the ball. It’s not like we don’t work on it, we work on it everyday, it’s just something where we have to get these kids up to speed.
“Gatesville’s a good team and a good program. Their guys are very quick and that’s what we’re going to see in district, so we need to watch the film, learn from this and get better.”
McLane Moore and Tristin Revada led Brownwood’s offensive effort with 10 points apiece trailed by seven from Corleone Pressley, six from Sean Yoder, five from Blaine Hughes, four from A.J. McCarty, three apiece from Blake Bronniman and Xavier Porter and two points from Gavin Jefferson.
Five Hornets finished in double figures led by Tyler Lewis with 13, Josh Carroll and Wacey Bowland with 12 apiece and Kennon Moore and Brandon Hill with 11 each. Alex Mata tacked on four points and Zach Mueller added two.
Leading 13-7 midway through the first period, the Lions fell victim to a 15-2 Gatesville spurt — fueled by Brownwood turnovers — and faced a 22-15 deficit with 3:03 left before halftime.
The Lions immediately answered with eight points over a span of just 1:58 to reclaim a 23-22 edge after Pressley scored on a fast break. Revada hit a free throw, then Hughes drained a three-pointer and added a layup off a steal to close the gap to one point.
Gatesville responded with the final five points of the half in a 65-second stretch to open a 27-23 halftime edge.
“We had a little more energy when we started, then we had a few turnovers and got down on ourselves,” Dalleh said. “We made a good run to get back into it and were only down three points, but maybe we thought that was good enough and that’s something we just can’t do.”
Down 31-28 just 1:47 into the second half after a three-pointer by Moore, the Lions surrendered the next 10 points as Gatesville opened a comfortable 41-28 advantage with 3:01 left in the third period.
The Hornets carried a 46-33 lead into the fourth period, which they were able to maintain despite a spirited effort by the Lions to the finish.
“The kids didn’t quit,” Dalleh said. “We went full court man until the end and they got after it. The kids play hard, they want to win and do well, we just have to do more things to be successful and we’re working on that.”
Brownwood wraps up its pre-Christmas schedule at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at Comanche.