Coppell loses OT thriller to South Grand Prairie, 63-57

Coppell loses OT thriller to South Grand Prairie, 63-57

By John Loop
Sports Writer

Turnovers were the story of this highly anticipated matchup between the Coppell Cowboys and the South Grand Prairie Warriors.

Unfortunately, the Cowboys lost the ball one too many times and, evidently, the game with it, 63-57.

The dueling guards, junior Landon Goesling of Coppell (17 points) and senior Ben Emelogu of SGP (21 points) were scoring bucket after bucket.

But the real work was done in the post. Head coach Kit Pehl opted to start senior post Patrick Barden, who scored 3 points, alongside junior post Simi Socks, the only other Coppell player who managed to reach double digits in scoring, with 10 points, to counter the Warriors size.

Both Socks and Barden limited the Warriors’ 6’9″  junior post Rick Curry to just 4 points, well below his season scoring average.

Goesling set the pace early with the first basket of the game, a three pointer from the left wing.

But SGP countered every basket, it seemed, with a drive to draw contact. Most of the time, the foul calls went the Cowboys’ way.

“I think it was definitely in our favor”, Goesling said. “Our defense played extremely well. We also went to the free throw line 10 times to their two, so we had them right where we wanted them.”

The second quarter was a back-and-forth battle as well, but Goesling gave the Cowboys a huge momentum swing late in the period, nailing another trey and getting fouled in the process.

“As soon as I came of off the screen, I felt the separation and knew I was putting [the shot] up,” Goesling said. “The guy closed out hard and I sold the foul. To be honest, I did not even see the ball go in, I just heard the cheering. That really got me going offensively.”

Both teams went into the locker room at halftime tied at 24.

At the beginning of the third quarter, the Warriors began to find their rhythm again, this time burying shot after shot from beyond the three point arc.

Still, Coppell took a 42-36 lead into the fourth quarter, but subsequently lost it with two minutes left.

It came down to the final Cowboy possession, with just seconds remaining in regulation.

A two point basket would tie it, and a three would win it for Coppell, and Pehl decided to put the ball in the hands of Simi Socks.

“I just wanted to isolate Simi,” Pehl said. “We misdirected three people and made it to where he would have the opportunity to play one-on-one, and it worked perfectly.”

Socks sank the bank shot as time expired to put the game into overtime with the score tied, once more, at 54.

A very crucial four-minute period turned into a stressful four minutes of basketball.

SGP took the lead off of two quick three-pointers by senior sharpshooter Trey Hall, who tallied 18 points on the night.

Then the trouble started. The turnover woes returned for the Cowboys, and SGP’s lead swelled.

“Most of their shots came from our turnovers,” Pehl said. “Our biggest thing is taking care of us, and down the stretch, the turnovers and the carelessness with the ball was what really hurt us.”

In the end, the Cowboys were forced to intentional foul to stop the clock, but to no avail.

Losses to two of the top three teams in the state (Duncanville last Tuesday and SGP tonight) by just one possession will have some significance when Richardson-Berkner marches into the gym on Friday night.

“This has to say something on how we are playing,” Goesling said. “We just have to use this as motivation to get the job done on Friday and beat a very talented Berkner team.”