Complete game effort: Lions throttle Lake Dallas in season's strongest showing
In their best showing of the season, the McKinney basketball team outpaced Lake Dallas from the start Friday night, leading to a lopsided 90-38 victory in the Keller Tournament.
"We were executing at a high level tonight," said Wes Watson, McKinney head coach. "It was certainly complete. That's probably the best adjective I could use to describe it. It was one of those games where things went right often. There was not a whole lot you can nitpick at from a coaching standpoint."
The Lions spread the wealth around as four different players reached double digit point totals Friday night. Raynell Denny and Jonathan Shannon tied for the game-high in points with 16. Also contributing were Remington Edwards with 13 and Connor Fuentes with 11.
"It's tough to beat a team when they have four players in double figures," Watson said. "We had good shots the whole night. We really didn't take any bad shots."
The victory is the Lions' sixth straight and improves their record to 9-2 on the year, with their only losses coming against Frisco Wakeland and Lincoln, each by only two points. The win also marked McKinney's largest margin of victory this season as it was not only the most points they've scored this year, but it also tied for the fewest points they've given up.
"It was a good, solid all-around game for us," Watson said. "We're getting better and that's our goal at this time of the year, to improve a little bit every time out."
McKinney began the tournament with a 64-38 win Thursday against Faith Academy.
"We were flat against Faith Academy," Watson said. "We weren't real happy with our play, even though we won by a big margin. But today there was a marked improvement. We felt really good about our effort when we walked off the floor."
Things were much different for the Lions Friday night as Watson couldn't have been prouder of their consistent play.
"We played really well tonight," he said. "We got off to a good start. We were executing well offensively, and defensively we forced a lot of turnovers off of our pressure for easy baskets."
The Lions rushed out to a 9-0 lead before briefly enduring their only setback in the game.
"We kind of hit a lull where we went four minutes without scoring," Watson said. "We started getting it going again late in the first quarter. We went on an 8-2 run to finish the quarter out."
McKinney would find its groove in the second quarter, leading to a 48-20 halftime lead. Things would go even more in McKinney's favor after the first half.
"We got even better in the second half, opening it up with a 13-0 run," Watson said. "We were able to pull our starters out midway through the third quarter and get everybody in. The guys that went in did a good job."
While the final score may initially tell a different story, Watson knows the Lake Dallas team they beat Friday night was hardly a pushover.
"They're not a bad team," Watson said. "They're really athletic and play really hard. We were fortunate to get off to a good start against them. And once we got on top we had control from there. When we're hitting shots and our pressure is good, we're really tough to beat and that's what happened tonight. It snowballed against them."
Watson is most encouraged by how his team improved in the few areas that have troubled them this season, areas which they had complete command of against Lake Dallas.
"We also fixed some things that hadn't been going well," he said. "We executed in some areas that we've been harping on, challenging the guys to improve on and they excelled tonight. I think our half court man offense was better than it's been. We had good execution there and I think we did a great job getting into the paint and reversing the basketball."
Watson was particularly pleased with how his players didn't lose focus after the second quarter, given their nearly 30-point halftime lead.
"The challenge was to go out there in the second half and follow that up and we did that," he said. "I'm really pleased with how we didn't have any fall-off after the second half."