Braswell's MJ Leslie

Braswell guard MJ Leslie (4) dribbles past Denton’s Austin Jackson (11) during Tuesday’s game at Denton High. Braswell won the crosstown game 57-33.

Braswell had Denton scrambling in the first half as quick passes and simple penetration made way for layups and wide-open 3-pointers for the visiting Bengals on Tuesday night.

While everything came easy for Braswell, the opposite was true for the Broncos as they found themselves in a 33-11 hole at halftime and in need of a miracle comeback.

That comeback attempt began in the third quarter with a monster 16-6 run for Denton as the Bengals’ turnovers began to pile up. The 11-point deficit was as close as the Broncos (7-10, 0-2 in District 8-5A) would come, though, as Braswell (16-8, 2-0) rolled to a 57-33 road win.

“We started good and had really good energy in the first quarter and then things got sloppy there in the middle,” Braswell coach Nicholas Sekeres said. “There was more good than bad today, so it was a step in the right direction.”

The Bengals’ defense and rebounding dominated a majority of the contest as Denton scored 16 points in the third quarter, but 17 total in the other three.

Braswell’s athleticism overwhelmed the Broncos and forced them into uncomfortable shots on the inside and contested 3-pointers.

“We did a good job with ball pressure without gambling,” Sekeres said. “What we gave up in the third quarter was much more a product of us being sloppy on offense. Bad passes led them into transition, but then we relaxed again in the fourth quarter.”

On offense, Sekeres’ team generated plenty of open 3-pointers, which resulted in five makes from deep in the first quarter for the Bengals to jump into the lead. However, the shooting fell cold in the final three quarters, only making one 3-pointer and forcing the Bengals to pound it in the paint and make free throws.

Guards MJ Leslie and Cam Smith led Braswell with 12 points each while scoring in contrasting styles. Leslie hit four 3-pointers, while Smith muscled his way to four buckets in the paint and four free throws.

The win continues to show the Bengals’ improvement as they start their chase for a district title.

“We did a good job with quick ball reverses, and that’s been a huge emphasis of ours,” Sekeres said. “[Our athleticism] is huge for us. We’re not a big team, but we have guards that are active on offense with the offensive glass and that helps us get easy ones.”

 

Girls basketball

Braswell 50, Denton 20

The Lady Bengals’ defense swarmed Denton time after time on the road, and Braswell was able to take control of the game early and never relented.

Braswell brought the intensity and buried the Lady Broncos 50-20 in an impressive outing, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

“We rebounded and rotated well on our press tonight, and we’re a team that has to hang our hat on defense,” Braswell coach Lisa Williams said. “To pull out a win after starting slow, it speaks volume to the team, but at the end of the day I want them to think one day at a time and one play at a time.”

 

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