The Brownwood Lions turned in possibly their best defensive half of basketball in the Shane Perkins era en route to a 54-38 thrashing of the Abilene Cooper Cougars Tuesday night at Warren Gym.
The Lions (3-1) most lopsided win of the young season saw Abilene Cooper muster just two points in the first quarter and eight points the entire first half.
“I told the kids at halftime that I didn’t think that defensively there was much more we could do to be any better,” Perkins said. “We excelled in every facet.
“Pressure defense starts on the ball and Rashad (Deal) did a great job. Our wings did a great job taking away the first pass and our post men did a great job helping. The posts have got to be willing to put their bodies on them and they did that and took away the entry passes.”
The Lions scored the first nine points of the contest and did not surrender a bucket until 54 seconds remained in the opening period.
It was midway through the second quarter before the Cougars scored again as a pair of free throws trimmed the Lions’ lead to 17-4 at the 3:59 juncture.
“At the end of first quarter we were up 11-2 and I told them that we were playing too good on defense not to reward ourselves on offense,” Perkins said. “In the second quarter we did that and blew the game open.”
Parker Taylor scored 16 points to lead Brownwood, followed by 11 points from Deal, eight from Ike Huestis, seven from Mike Thompson and six points from Kevin Cunningham.
Only four Cougars scored, and half their points came from Rashad Barnes, who finished with 19 points and four second-half three-pointers.
“They hit a couple of shots early in the third quarter, but our kids did a good job getting back to what we wanted to do,” Perkins said. “It was a great team effort tonight.”
The Lions’ game-opening run featured a pair of free throws from Thompson, a deuce by Cunningham and two buckets and a free throw from Taylor.
Brownwood then opened the second period with the first six points as Deal recorded the first three field goals of the quarter.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Thompson and Deal pushed the lead to 19 points, 23-4, with 3:04 left in the first half, and a Cunningham bucket with nine seconds left made the halftime score 29-8.
The Lions will take part in the Burnet Bulldog Classic starting Thursday.