The Cisco Loboes remained within striking distance after one quarter of the team’s Class 3A area round playoff game versus the Brock Eagles Thursday evening at Graham High School, trailing by only five points (17-12).
However, Cisco’s hopes of keeping pace with the Eagles proved short-lived as the second quarter commenced, with Brock’s defenders clamping down on a Loboes’ offense which suddenly struggled to put points on the board, being limited to five in the frame.
Coupled with 14 points of their own in the same quarter, the Eagles took a 31-17 halftime lead they would not come close to relinquishing over the final two periods.
After surrendering 54 points to Holliday in the team’s bi-district game earlier this week, Brock Head Coach Zach Boxell said playing shutdown defense was a priority heading into the second round bout with Cisco.
“That’s one thing we really hit on after that first game,” Boxell said.
“I didn’t like our defensive effort in our bi-district game. That’s what we usually do, play good defense, so we really harped on that, telling [our kids] we need to set the tone early on the defensive side and the offense would come, and luckily we were able to do that.”
Boxell added that his squad altered its defensive approach in the second quarter, helping spur the game’s shift in momentum in the Eagles’ favor.
“We did change our defense up, how we were playing it,” Boxell said.
“And then we just re-emphasized how aggressive we wanted to be with them and making sure we make them take contested shots and get rebounds.”
The approach worked, as the Loboes failed to put up double digit points in any of the final three frames.
An even 9-9 scoring spread in the third quarter did little for Cisco but keep the team from being blown out, at least for the moment, before Brock sealed the 59-33 win with a dominant 19-7 showing in the fourth quarter.
Six Eagles found their way onto the scoring column, led by a trio of 13-point performances from senior shooting forward Brayton Chitty, junior shooting guard Quinn Moudy and sophomore power forward Nathan Jones.
Boxell said his team’s cohesiveness on the defensive end, as well as the large number of scoring contributions the Eagles got Thursday showed a great team effort.
“Early in the season a lot of times you rush shots, but [Thursday] we really worked as a team,” Boxell said.
“I thought it was our best team effort that we’ve had in awhile.”
The Eagles will look to continue that trend in the regional quarterfinals against the winner of Friday’s area round matchup between Jim Ned and City View at a time, date and location yet to be determined.