Brownwood heads into Christmas break with 11-4 record

The Brownwood Lions are headed into the Christmas break on a four-game win streak and with 11 victories in their first 15 outings — three more wins than at this point a year ago.

The latest triumph for the Lions came Tuesday night at Warren Gym as Brownwood held off a pesky Comanche Indians squad, 59-50.

“Who would have thought we’d be 11-4 besides us in this locker room?” said Lions second-year head coach Nadir Dalleh. “I hear everybody all over talking about how we should be down with the seniors we lost, but these kids come out and compete. We’re 11-4 and we’re looking to go into the Holiday Classic and make some noise. It’s our tournament in our town, so we need to represent well. It’s going to be fun.”

Though the Lions continued their win streak, their performance was far from flawless, according to Dalleh.

“We did a lot of good things and then all the sudden we revert back to day one stuff with turnovers, not rebounding and not finishing around the rim, where we had a lot of opportunities,” Dalleh said. “We can’t blame anybody but us for that.”

Zach Strong again led the Brownwood offense with 18 points trailed by 13 from A.J. McCarty, six each from Sean Yoder and Xavier Porter, three apiece from Isyah Campos and Tommy Bowden, two points each from Gavon Clemons, Jaten Reeves, Blaize Infinger, Gavin Jefferson and one from Blake Bronniman.

For Comanche, Jayton McGinnis scored all of his team-high 14 points in the second half trailed by Bronte Hermesmeyer with 12 and Kade Mercer with 11 points.

Leading just 25-21 at halftime, the Lions outscored Comanche 20-6 during the third period to seize control of the contest. Up 31-25, an 11-0 spurt by Brownwood shifted the momentum as on three occasions the Lions converted traditional three-point plays with a bucket and a free throw.

“We came out and executed,” Dalleh said of the third-quarter surge. “We were doing what we wanted to do, getting the ball inside and that opens up the outside stuff. We didn’t have the turnovers, either, but then we started off the fourth quarter like we’d already won the game.”

Leading 45-27 at the start of the fourth period, Brownwood witnessed Comanche drain five three-pointers during the frame as the lead dwindled to 53-47 with 1:55 to go.

“They got hot in the fourth quarter,” Dalleh said. “When you don’t put a hand up in anybody’s face and give them a clean shot, that’s what’s going to happen, they’re going to hit some shots.”

But Strong converted a short layup and a pair of free throws with just under a minute left to stretch the advantage out to nine points and thwart Comanche’s rally.