Bonham fends off multiple efforts from Nocona in thrilling home victory
Entering Tuesday night with a perfect record, the Bonham Purple Warriors basketball team aimed to keep its undefeated record intact in its home-court debut. The Purple Warriors hosted the Nocona Indians and, in a seesaw battle, Bonham used several late runs to slip past Nocona by a final score of 59-55.
Bonham (5-0) started the game off strong behind quality play from senior Michael Crosby, who scored more than half of his 12 points in the first quarter. However, Indians guards Landry McCasland and L.B. Fenoglio started to heat up from deep. The senior and junior point guards’ shooting became more contagious than COVID-19 as Adam Meekins, Adrian Diaz, and Michael Wetmore started to see their shots fall throughout the first half as well. Bonham closed the second quarter well, but still trailed 30-23 at intermission due to Nocona’s hot shooting and solid ball pressure defensively on the perimeter.
Just as it did to start the game off, however, Bonham pushed the issue defensively, and the ball started to bounce the Purple Warriors’ way.
The third quarter was explosive for Bonham in several facets. The home team outscored the visiting Indians 21-9 in the third quarter, which was largely due to stellar play from senior guard Tanner Reaves. The high-flying shooting guard rained in four 3-pointers during the quarter, and his fellow backcourt teammates Mason Rodriguez, Cam Bush, and Avery Coker stepped up their levels of play as well. However, even with a 44-39 lead, the Purple Warriors had to earn this win down the stretch.
Jackson Davis and Jerry Arrey were both pivotal in the fourth quarter on the perimeter and the low block, respectively. When head coach Eric Hicks preached the importance of defense to his team during an intermission before the beginning of the fourth quarter, his primary defensive-stopper responded. Davis routinely harassed McCasland and company beyond the arc. The guard’s high motor, unwavering discipline, and speedy footwork allowed him to remain in front of every Nocona ball handler who attempted to break him down off the dribble. Davis even frustrated McCasland into receiving a technical foul.
As for the 6-foot-3 senior Arrey, his role was also crucial. Down low, Arrey provided a more-than-capable post presence both on defense and offense. The senior big man fought for and pulled down several big rebounds. He also worked hard to both gain position on the low block and to score with craft and conviction down low. Late buckets and timely stops from this duo helped Hicks’ squad fend off Nocona in the four-point victory, even though the pesky visitors stayed within striking distance for the remainder of regulation.
Reaves led Bonham with a team-high 23 points, while Crosby poured in 12 points. Arrey, Coker, and Davis each scored 6 points, while Bush and Rodriguez added 4 points and 2 points, respectively.
The Purple Warriors will take the hardwood again at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Prairiland Patriots. This game can be heard live on 95.7 FM, Sparklight Cable 68, or kfynradio.com. For more sports coverage, click here.