The Wharton Runnin’ Tigers scored 21 points and another suffocating defense in the third quarter to get a victory of the Schulenberg Shorthorns at home earlier this week.
The 67-51 non-district victory improved Wharton’s record to 3-0, two of those games having been played inside their own gymnasium with around 100 people cheering them on each time.
The scenario has changed drastically for players and coaches alike when they traveled west to Devine and introduced their style of play to South Texas teams in the Devine Tournament.
WHS played Hondo in the first game but at press time the score was not available.
After the Schulenberg game, the Runnin’ Tigers’ James Jones said energy plays a big part in the success of the team.
“When we’re scoring baskets, we feed off each other,” Jones said. “Coach wants us to bring energy to the game, and when the baskets are falling for us, we do that.”
The Runnin’ Tigers had an uncomfortable 33-27 lead at the half against the Shorthorns, and extended the lead in the first few minutes of the third quarter off scoring plays from Joerell Davis and Fred Jones through forced turnovers and steals on Schulenberg’s end of the court.
WHS led 40-29 that forced the Schulenberg coaching staff to call a timeout.
It didn’t help as WHS continued to cause havoc on the court, scoring eight unanswered points from Davis, James Jones, and Roy Gentry.
Four WHS players scored in double figures, with James Jones the leading scorer with 25 points (2-of-7 free throws), including a trio of three-pointers. Contributing 14 points each were Davis and Gentry. Each player also had a trey. Fred Jones added 12 points, as he also had a three.
James Jones shared a little bit about what coach Calvin King told the team at halftime.
“Coach told us to keep shooting; that our shots would fall,” he said. “At some point, the baskets weren’t falling and it was making things a bit harder.”
Compared to the last game in which WHS players did what they wanted, this time Schulenberg players showed they could slow the game down a bit, but not enough. The visiting team scored at least 10 points in each quarter, but the defense could not slow down WHS. Scoring plays of fastbreak opportunities for the Runnin’ Tigers didn’t come often.
In fact, beside the first basket of the game and a 2-0 lead, the Shorthorns led twice more. The second time came at the six-minute mark of the second quarter (19-18) and then a 21-20 advantage. They never led after that as WHS responded with a 7-0 run, started by a Gentry trey.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Throughout the basketball season, the Journal-Spectator will have updates on local high school basketball teams through “Wharton County Newspaper Sports” Facebook page.