MENARD — The Early Longhorns posted a 2-1 record and finished third at the Menard Tournament over the weekend. Standouts included John Griffin with 34 points, 17 rebounds, 13 steals, and 10 assists, along with all-tournament team selection Devyn Burns with 37 points, eight rebounds, 10 steals, and nine assists.
“Overall it was a very good weekend for us,” said Longhorns head coach Justin Moore. “The past two weekends our offense has started to take off. We are stepping up and making the open shot and we are very unselfish on offense. We started slowly this year offensively, I'm glad to see that our offense is starting to catch up with our defense.
Through 11 games we have six players who average six points a game or more. And to go along with our unselfishness, we are averaging 12 assists a game on 18 baskets a game. We are distributing the ball well. Those assist numbers will only rise with our rise in makes per game. Defensively we are causing problems for the opponents, we are forcing them to turn the ball over 25 times a game with 18 of those being steals a game. I'm excited for the next few weeks as we tune up before we hit district.”
Early opened the tournament with a 64-38 victory over Miles.
“We limited their offense to 37 total shots due to 31 turnovers caused by our press defense,” Moore said. “It was a good game for us and we were able to get valuable playing time for entire team.”
Leading scorers for the Longhorns were Griffin with 14 points, Burns with 13, Ty Schafer with 12, Timmy Smithson with 10, Taylor Hurt with six, Brent Grooms with four, Rowdy Elkins with three, and Colton Piri with two points.
Schafer led the Longhorns with nine assists followed by Smithson with six, and Piri and Hurt with five each.
Elkins and Burns finished with five steals each while Smithson and Grooms recorded four apiece.
Smithson, Griffin and Darshan Bhakta tallied three assists apiece.
The Longhorns dropped their second game to San Saba, 52-50, as the Armadillos rallied late to steal the victory.
Burns tallied 13 points trailed by Griffin with 11, Schafer with 10, Smithson with six Hurt with four and Josh Baucom and Elkins with three each.
Griffin collected nine rebounds followed by Elkins with seven, Schafer, Hurt, and Smithson with four.
Griffin also recorded six steals followed by Smithson with four and Schafer with three.
Griffin and Burns finished with four assists apiece followed by Elkins and Smithson two each.
Schafer added two blocks and Burns was credited with one.
In the tournament finale, Early rolled over Menard, 63-42, to secure third place.
Hurt led the charge with 12 points followed by Burns with 11, Smithson and Elkins with 10 apiece, Griffin with nine, Schafer with seven, Baucom with three and Grooms with one point.
Smithson notched eight rebounds trailed by Hurt with five and Griffin and Grooms with four each.
Griffin, Smithson, and Grooms recorded five steals apiece, Burns collected four and Elkins finished with three.
Hurt, Smithson, Burns, and Griffin each tallied three steals, while Schafer added three blocks and Griffin chipped in one.
The Longhorns (4-7) host San Saba in a tournament rematch at 8 p.m. Tuesday.