Working overtime

Cowboys hold off Wildcats in close match-up, earn fourth district win

Nicholas Pranske, Staff Writer

As regulation ended and the arena began to settle, both teams could be heard planning, strategizing, and thinking up its game plan for overtime.


At the end of the night, however, the Coppell boys basketball team came out victorious in overtime against the Lake Highlands Wildcats, 48-47, on Friday in the CHS arena.


At the end of the fourth quarter, as Coppell was up, 44-42, both the Cowboys and the Wildcats had their own very different game plan. With 3:28 left in the game, the Wildcats took possession and stood at about midcourt, not dribbling, not passing, not moving. About a minute later, after every Coppell player had looked over at coach Kit Pehl with a ‘what do I do?’ look on his face, the action started up again.


Coppell seniors forward Kevin Galvin and guard J.B. Pietrowiak began to trap the Lake Highlands guard. This trap led to a wide open player, junior guard Nathan Hall, in the corner. When Hall caught the pass he went up for the dunk and narrowly missed.


However, another Wildcats player came up and put the ball back in for a layup.


Tie game. Two minutes left.


After both teams missed an opportunity for the win, the clock wound down to zero and the four-minute overtime began.


Overtime itself was not as eventful as regulation. However, with two free throws by junior guard Carter Kryzak, followed by a layup by sophomore guard Quevian Adger, the Cowboys took a 48-44 lead. While the Wildcats made a few free throws of their own, it was not enough to match the Cowboys, sending the Coppell team to its fourth District 9-6A win of the season.


The game was not always an overtime-bearing match up, however. In the first half, the Wildcats dominated possession, sometimes keeping the ball for up to a minute. In addition, Lake Highlands put on a press-defense at the end of the first quarter, using its height advantage. The Cowboys turned the ball over twice in the last two minutes of the first quarter, due to this unexpected pressure. This led to a 12-11 lead by the Wildcats going into the second.


The Wildcats held their ground in the second, holding off the Cowboys, 24-21. After halftime, the Cowboys adjusted to the press defense a little better. With the addition of senior forward Grayson Early’s 14 points in the second half, including two three-pointers, the Cowboys took a 36-31 lead at the end of the third and, of course, tied the game at 44 in the fourth.

Mari Pletta
At the ending of the third quarter, Coppell High School senior forward Grayson Early stays open to take an outside shot during the game against Lake Highlands on Jan. 19. The Coppell Cowboys took the win during an overtime thriller with a close score of 48-47.

“We have a really strong post game,” Early said. “I like the way our guards are feeding us down low, it gets the offense going.”


With junior starting point guard Tariq Aman out with an injury, the Cowboys had to adjust to a new playing style.


“It’s a different game without [Aman]. We had to slow down and think about what we were doing,” Early said.


The Cowboys play again at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday against the Jesuit Rangers at home in the CHS arena.