Cowboys finish strong in gritty win over Timber Creek

Rithik Chennupati

A frantic second half comeback nearly led Timber Creek to a win before the Coppell boys basketball team held on for a 55-47 victory Tuesday night in the CHS Arena.

Timber Creek came back from a 32-19 deficit at the half to bring the game within one point with just a few minutes left to play in the fourth quarter. A clutch steal from senior guard Adam Moussa led to a hard foul by Timber Creek and an altercation ensued with tempers running high. Moussa was ejected from the game along with Timber Creek guard Michael Mouser who committed the hard foul. 

Neveah Jones
Timber Creek defenders close in on Coppell senior guard Adam Moussa on Tuesday night in the CHS Arena. Coppell held off a second half rally to win, 55-47.

“There was a lot of pushing and unnecessary hit on both sides of the ball,” Moussa said. “It was escalating in the fourth just because of how close the game was but I am glad my teammates had my back” 

With the game so close sophomore guard Devank Rane made clutch free throws in Moussa’s place to increase the Cowboys lead 46-42. The Cowboys continued the defensive pressure getting steals and stops leading to their win over Timber Creek.

“This team is a very close-knit bunch,” Coppell coach Clint Schnell said. “Considering the situation they handled it well. In a situation like that, you never know what someone might do. I am proud of how they responded to the adversity and used it to their advantage” 

At the start of the game, the Coppell offense was hitting many 3’s, most of them coming from sophomore forward Ryan Agarawal. The Cowboys offense was flowing well in the first half against Timber Creek’s unique zone defense. The Cowboys lead Timber Creek 13-5, at the end of the first quarter. 

 We looked at what Timber Creek did defensively,” Schnell said. “We tried to find areas in their zone that we could attack to score the ball.”

In the second quarter, the Timber Creek offense started to gain momentum and had good possessions but the Cowboys offense led by Agarawal kept the lead maintained after Timber Creek guard Jordyn Vicente hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the half, closing the Coppell lead to 32-19

“We have to work on rebounding and defending,””

— Brandon Taylor

Coppell senior point guard Brandon Taylor said. “ We could have done a better job of that tonight but we are going to keep working on it so we are ready for [Friday against Northwest].” 

The third quarter started out with Timber Creek getting to a quick start and getting stops on the other end not letting Coppell respond. Timber Creek was able to cut the Cowboy lead to 41-34 heading into the fourth. 

“We talked about before this game that Timber Creek had some good shooter,” Schnell said.  “We knew they had the talent to get back into the game. Every time we come out for the second half we say that the first four minutes are the most important. The team was able to handle the punches that Timber Creek threw and were able to come out with the win.” 

With the Cowboys offense momentum slowing down in the second half, it was what they did on the defensive end that kept them ahead. Timber Creek was able to bring it within a point but after clutch free throws from multiple members of the Cowboys team, Coppell came out of the shootout with a 55-47 win in a gritty game capped off by tough and physical defense. 

“We are going to work on getting the ball into the paint when we are not hitting out shots,” Moussa said. “We only hit seven shots in the paint so we need to improve on that and also rebounding. Getting the ball into the paint is big and when we did not do that it allowed them to come back. Once they started coming back we went into a match up zone which allowed us to get steals and get the momentum back.” 

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