With the Bryan boys basketball team coming off an 0-2 showing in District 14-6A the previous week, Tuesday’s bye seemed to be just what the Vikings needed.
Bryan got back on track Friday, draining six 3-pointers while holding Tomball Memorial to 17 points in the second half for a 63-38 win over the Wildcats at Viking Gym.
The Vikings (11-13, 3-6) built a small cushion several times in the first half only for Memorial (3-21, 0-10) to get within a possession each time. The Wildcats even took a short-lived 21-20 lead with around two minutes left in the second quarter, but Bryan reeled off an 8-0 run, capped by a 6-0 spurt from junior guard Aleks Kalaouze, to take the lead for good just before halftime.
Braedon Nutter hit a pair of free throws and a couple layups to start the third quarter on a 6-2 run to get the Wildcats within 30-27, but the Vikings responded with a knockout 15-2 run over the last five minutes of the period.
“We needed that break,” Bryan head coach Jonathan Hines said. “It was good for the kids to have a night off and step away after a tough week, and they came back with some energy. Practice was really good this week. You wouldn’t have known that from the first half, but I think that’s because shots weren’t falling. The second half we picked it up, and that was good to see.”
Junior guard Dom Caldwell hit a trio of 3-pointers during the key run, the third coming on a shot from the wing with a defender’s hand in his face. Tereus Henderson added a layup and a free throw, and Camden Gray capped the surge with a 3-pointer to make it 45-29.
“I know if I’m hot, I’ve always got the green light. I just have confidence in myself and in my team, and I know we can do anything,” said Caldwell, whose game-high 15 points came on five treys. “I practice that [contested] shot a hundred times a day, so it’s just routine. I don’t even think about it.”
The hot streak energized Bryan’s defense, which held Memorial to 13 of 51 on field goals, including 1 of 14 from beyond the arc, and forced 13 turnovers. Long rebounds and steals led to several easy baskets, as did the Vikings’ prowess from deep. Bryan hit 9 of 25 treys and started finding holes in the middle of the defense as Memorial closed out on shooters more aggressively. Sophomore Dylan Glover led Bryan with six assists, with several coming on passes to junior forward Rodney Johnson Jr. in the middle as defenders ran out to defend the 3.
Johnson finished with a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds to go with a pair of steals, and Glover added nine points and three boards.
“Unfortunately, too many times we rely on making big shots to give us our energy, and that’s what happened,” Hines said. “We were getting the same shots we were [in the first half], but the difference was they fell. So the kids got excited and playing with more energy, and that helped us on the defensive end. It should be the other way around, but that’s who we are [right now].”
Kalaouze had a season-high eight points and added two assists and a steal, and senior guard JD Smith had eight points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Nutter led Memorial with 11 points, and Cory Reese added eight.
Bryan continues 14-6A play at Langham Creek at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Bryan 63, Tomball Memorial 38
(Numbers after names indicated field goals made, free throws made-attempted, points.)
MEMORIAL (3-21, 0-10) — Nicholas Krontz 2 0-0 5, Jayden Key 0 2-3 2, Evan Wylie 1 3-5 5, Derek Montross 3 1-1 7, Cory Reese 3 2-3 8, Braedon Nutter 4 3-4 11.
BRYAN (11-13, 3-6) — JD Smith 3 2-4 8, Xavier Duren 0 2-2 2, Rodney Johnson Jr. 5 2-2 13, Camden Gray 1 0-0 3, Tereus Henderson 2 1-3 5, Dom Caldwell 5 0-0 15, Dylan Glover 2 4-4 9, Aleks Kalaouze 3 1-2 8.
Memorial 10 11 8 9 — 38
Bryan 16 12 17 18 — 63
Field goals: Memorial 13-51 (.255); Bryan 21-49 (.429). Free throws: Memorial 11-16 (.688); Bryan 12-17 (.706).
3-pointers: Memorial 1-14 (Krontz); Bryan 9-25 (Caldwell 5, Johnson 1, Gray 1, Glover 1, Kalaouze 1).
Turnovers: Memorial 13; Bryan 7.
Rebounds: Memorial 32; Bryan 34 (Johnson 11, Smith 4, Henderson 4, Glover 3, Kalaouze 3, Victor Grear 3).
Freshman: Bryan 73-62 (BRYAN — Taylan Johnson 28, Zaylan Duren 17, Jeremiah Gurode 16).
JV: Bryan 59-47 (BRYAN — Victor Grear 13, Braylon Robertson 11, Keeton Scott 9).
Next: Bryan at Langham Creek, 7 p.m. Tuesday