ARGYLE — Home court hasn't been much of an advantage for the North Texas Wildcats in the Denton Summer Shootout. The Wildcats, the alter ego of the Argyle High School varsity squad, lost to the Oklahoma Tarheels, 55-39, on Saturday afternoon in Argyle Gym 2, falling to 0-3 in pool play in the 11th-12th-Grade Division of the Shootout.
The Wildcats finished fourth in Pool D and started consolation bracket play late Saturday night against their cross-town rival Liberty Warriors.
“It's been tough,” Wildcats coach Steve Adams said. “This tournament hasn't been too kind to us this year.”
The Wildcats came into the tournament without their starting backcourt of point guard Caden Dickerson and shooting guard Josh Drake, and that greatly limited their prospects. Dickerson recently had surgery to repair some damaged cartilage in his right shoulder, and Drake suffered a minor foot injury in practice that has him out for a week.
“It's tough to win when you have injured players,” Adams said. “In the two tournaments we've won this year, both Caden and Josh contributed a lot. We just don't have anybody that can bring the ball up the floor.”
In the pool play finale against the Tarheels, the Wildcats hung strong for the first half.
Tarheels big men Colton Richardson and Kevin Roland dominated the paint early on with six points each in the first half, but the Wildcats countered with strong ball movement to get open shots, with guard Brandon Peck filling in nicely for Dickerson with all six of his points in the first half.
The Wildcats went into halftime trailing by only a bucket, 24-22.
But Oklahoma left the Wildcats in its wake in the second half, opening with a 12-4 run and never looking back. Guard Laquinton Black repeatedly slashed to the basket, where Roland or Richardson hit him with backdoor passes for easy layups. Black and Richardson finished tied for game-high with 12 points each, while Roland added 11 points, three rebounds, four assists and three steals.
After shooting only 42 percent from the floor on 8-of-19 in the first half, the Wildcats had even more trouble finding the bottom of the net in the second, hitting only 6-of-19 for 31.6 percent.
Cory Dixon, the Wildcats' 6-5 post, led the way in the losing effort, scoring eight points to go along with two rebounds and three steals, and forward Matt Handler pulled down a game-high seven rebounds while dishing out three assists. Peck, Erik Katzen and Will Overlander added six points each.
ETHAN B. SZATMARY can be reached at 940-566-6869. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
Oklahoma Tarheels 55, North Texas Wildcats 39
Oklahoma Tarheels 24 31 — 55
North Texas Wildcats 22 17 — 39
Oklahoma Tarheels — Colton Richardson 12, Laquinton Black 12, Kevin Roland 11, Jordan Parnacher 6, Trevor Jimboy 4, Chaz Daniels 4, Michael Roberts 2, Jessie Cordray 2, Ian Webster 2.
North Texas Wildcats — Cory Dixon 8, Erik Katzen 6, Brandon Peck 6, Will Overlander 6, Tyler Sain 5, Zach Pearson 4, Billy Carroll 2, Mark Glaser 2.