There wasn’t a lid over the basket on Tuesday.
Just a few days removed from one of its worst offensive showings of the season, the Ryan Raiders rebounded from last week’s loss to first-place Braswell by jumping out to an early lead on Little Elm before slamming down on the accelerator en route to a 62-47 District 8-5A win at Billy Ryan Gym.
Ryan, which was held to 44 points against Braswell on Friday, scored 20 points on Little Elm in the third quarter alone — including four 3-pointers — and its defense shut the Lobos down at every turn to spark a 25-6 run that bled well into the fourth quarter. The surge extended what was a 10-point halftime lead to as many as 25 points in the closing minutes. Gian Harper led the way for Ryan with 11 points and three 3-pointers.
Treshaun Shivers added 10 points and Jalen Carter came off the bench to chip in nine.
Little Elm (9-14, 1-2) got 13 points from Collyn Cornelious — all in the fourth quarter — and closed the game with a 10-0 run, but it was two deep of a hole to overcome.
“Our defensive pressure allows us to go on those kind of runs,” Ryan coach Bryce Overstreet said. “It wasn’t our offense; it was our defense. We turned them over, and the kids played extremely hard.
“Every district win matters. We always talk about going 1-0, and we did that tonight. It was good to be back at home, too.”
Little Elm used a heavy press to slow Ryan down early and in the process managed to jump out to a seven-point lead. But as the game wore on, Ryan found ways to break the press and quickly took control by closing out the first half on a 24-7 run. The Lobos trimmed the deficit back to four points minutes into the third quarter only to watch as Harper connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to push Ryan’s lead back out to 10. Carter followed with another trey to push the score to 42-29.
The surge continued into the fourth quarter as Ryan (12-6, 3-1) started going to its bench.
“We got a little sloppy in the end, and that happens sometimes when you get a big lead,” Overstreet said. “We prepared for their press, and the emphasis today was to take care of the basketball. We didn’t always do that, but I was pleased.”
Lady Raiders take one to the gut in last-second loss
Little Elm’s Amarachi Kimpson stole an inbounds pass with eight seconds left and squeezed in a quick layup to lift her team to a wild 49-48 win that spoiled what was almost a big come-from-behind win for the Lady Raiders.
Ryan (9-14, 2-3 district) had just taken the lead four seconds earlier on a pretty basket in the paint by Janiah Allen. Little Elm quickly raced to the other end of the floor but was called for traveling, giving the ball back to Ryan. All Ryan had to do was safely get the ball inbounds, but Kimpson had other plans and quickly set up the game winner.
Kimpson finished with 19 points, as did teammate Kennadi Harris.
Ryan, which has now lost three district games in a row, had three players reach double figures. Jabria Roland and Halle Rucker each scored 11. Larissa Moser added 10 and both Allen and Semone Marshall each chipped in six points.