Brownwood improves to 9-4 with home victory, trip to Gatesville next

Leading by five points heading into the fourth period, the Brownwood Lions' lead over the Colorado City Wolves evaporated in just 47 seconds.

But the Lions countered with 13 consecutive points, holding Colorado City scoreless for a 4:55 stretch during the final stanza, en route to a 55-41 victory Tuesday night at Warren Gym.

“I think we're finally getting our legs underneath us,” said Lions second-year head coach Nadir Dalleh, whose team improved to 9-4 on the season following a second straight victory. “That was a very good team, a very athletic team and once they get their legs under them they're going to be rolling. But our kids are finally starting to gel together and it's good that it's happening before the Christmas break. But we have to keep building on this and wanting to win.”

Three Lions finished in double figures as Zach Strong led the charge with 16 points, Xavier Porter chipped in 14 and A.J. McCarty finished with 11. Sean Yoder and Blake Bronniman contributed six points apiece and Gavon Clemons added a bucket.

For Colorado City (5-1), Markis Monroe tallied 13 points, Omar Boone chipped in 10, Kwentin Malveaux finished with nine, Tracy Smith added four, Gabriel Salazar and Bubba Williams scored two each and Gavino Silva sank a free throw.

The Lions trailed 16-12 after one quarter, took a 26-23 lead at halftime and carried a 37-32 edge into the fourth period.

There, Williams scored in the paint just 10 seconds in and Malveaux drained a trey with 7:13 remaining to knot the score at 37.

Brownwood regained a 39-37 edge when Strong scored with 6:58 to go, which triggered the decisive run for the Lions. Yoder followed with a bucket at 6:12 then Bronniman scored on a drive with 5:33 to go to stretch the advantage to 43-37. A combined three free throws from Strong and McCarty pushed the lead to 46-37 with 4:52 left, then Strong scored again with 3:29 remaining to give Brownwood its first double-digit advantage, 48-37. Porter tacked on two more free throws with 2:48 left, capping the Lions' 13-point surge as Brownwood led 50-37.

“It was big getting their big guy (Boone) in foul trouble,” Dalleh said of the fourth-quarter run. “He's a player, no doubt. Having him in foul trouble and off the floor was big. We could go at them because once you take him off, we had a pretty good advantage inside.”

Colorado City closed the gap to 50-41 with 1:22 to go after buckets by Monroe and Smith, but McCarty sank a three-pointer with 53 seconds remaining, stretching the lead back to a dozen points, 53-41, and essentially securing the victory.

The Lions committed 15 turnovers unofficially, an area on offense where Brownwood continues to improve.

“All the passing, all the fundamentals, all the things we have to do to get us ready for district, which is right around the corner, we've been working on every day,” Dalleh said. “Handling the ball is big and we've been used to just taking off down the floor instead of making a good pass, but I'm seeing a lot of progress with that.”

Dalleh also praised the performance of the Lions who came off the bench Tuesday night.

“When our bench guys came in they did a good job of holding Colorado City,” Dalleh said. “Our kids are going to play hard, there's no doubt about that. It's good to see that and our bench involved. It's a big win today and I'm very proud of them.”

The Lions are back in action at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Gatesville, then host Comanche at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in their final game before the Christmas break.