ARGYLE – Lewisville won its third tournament title in as many weeks on Sunday, but this time it needed a couple of extra periods and some help from their friends in Denton.
Playing with Denton's Howard Stirgus and Marcus Shoels and Ryan's Jermias Sawyer, Lewisville needed double overtime to squeak by the Kansas Players, 59-57, in the “A” bracket championship of the Denton Summer Shootout in Argyle Gym.
“I knew we were going to pull it out, but I was just trying to figure out when we were going to pull it out,” Stirgus said. “That was a long game after playing the whole tournament.”
Stirgus, who was drawn to the team since former Denton coach Henry Thomas now coaches the Lewisville varsity, was a big reason why Lewisville was able to pull the game out. After going scoreless in the first half, Stirgus dropped all 13 of his points in the second half and overtime sessions to lead all scorers. He also added four rebounds, and scored eight of Lewisville's 11 points in the two extra periods.
“I started taking it to the hoop, and I stopped settling for the jump shot,” Stirgus said. “They had a big guy on me, and I knew he couldn't guard me.”
Will Weathers also came up huge for Lewisville at the end of the game. After Stirgus scored the first four points of the second overtime and the Players matched him, Weathers hit an off-balance jumper with 20 seconds to put Lewisville up by two.
The Players followed with a 3-point attempt by Jordan Cyphers with six seconds left, but it bounced high off the rim, causing a wild scramble for the carom. Weathers dove on the loose ball and then called timeout, and Lewisville was able to dribble out the clock.
Lewisville also won the Metrocrest Tournament two weeks ago and the NCAA Red Division of the Great American Shootout last week and pushed its record to 51-10 over the course of the summer. In this game, the team had to show its fortitude more than any all summer long, however
“Man, we were tired, but we weren't mentally tired,” said coach Michael Thomas, the son of Henry, as he considered how these games can help his father's team. “We play a lot of tough games and this right here gets us ready for the playoffs next season.”
All five Lewisville starters hit double figures, with Weathers scoring 11 and Brandon Griffin, Brian Nwelee and Cameron Clemons all turning in 10.
Lewisville took an early lead and looked like it might run away with the game after opening up a 10-3 advantage.
But, from there, the Kansas Players wrenched momentum with big men Jordan Cyphers and Garrius Hollimon scoring at will. Hollimon finished with a double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds, and Cyphers led the Players with 12 points.
Kansas raced past Lewisville to go up 30-28 at the half.
In the second half, the Players were able to build a small lead, pulling out to 47-41 with 3:43 left in the game, as guards Adonis Gant and Mike Atwater started penetrating to the basket and repeatedly laying up or passing off for easy baskets when Lewisville rotated.
That's when Stirgus came alive, scoring five of Lewisville's last seven points in regulation to erase the deficit.
After the tough victory, Michael Thomas said his team had earned a little rest and relaxation before school starts.
“They deserve some time off now… they've earned it,” he said.
[Liberty wins consolation bracket]
The Liberty Warriors started off the Denton Summer Shootout slowly, losing their first four games, but they finished with a flourish.
Liberty closed out the tournament with three straight wins, taking the “B” Bracket consolation final, 51-35, over Griffins, TX. Guard Walt Schaffer buried Griffin with 23 points in the final.
Wildcats lose third-place game
The North Texas Wildcats, the summer-league alter ego of the Argyle High School basketball team, also had more success in bracket play than they had in pool play.
After going winless in pool play, the Wildcats advanced to the “B” bracket third place game before falling to San Antonio Elite, 62-34.
Tough week for Ponder
The Ponder boys capped off an 0-4 performance in the Shootout on Saturday night, falling to the Oklahoma Hustlers, 51-43.
Krum Lady Katz fall in consolation final
Krum continued to build on momentum throughout the Denton Summer Shootout and rolled all the way to the consolation final of the 11th-12th grade girls blue division on Sunday.
The Lady Katz opened with a 55-50 win over the Prison City Boneshakers before losing to the Tulsa Giants to move to the consolation bracket. They won two in a row to get to the final but fell, 60-42, to WTBA Wallace.
ETHAN B. SZATMARY can be reached at 940-566-6869. His e-mail address is email@example.com .
Lewisville 59, Kansas Players 57
L 28 20 5 6 — 59
KP 30 18 5 4 — 57
Lewisville – Howard Stirgus 13, Will Weathers 11, Brandon Griffin 10, Brian Nwelee 10, Cameron Clemons 10, Billy Vanada 2, Antonio Butler 2, Shawn Richberg 1.
Kansas Players – Jordan Cyphers 12, Garrius Hollimon 11, Cortez Barnes 9, Chris Harper 8, Mike Atwater 6, Adonis Gant 6, Chris Babb 4, Leon Flowers 1.