It wasn’t a win, but first-year coach Robert James said he was pleased in his debut at the helm of the Houston High School boys’ basketball program.
“The effort was there,” James said following the Tigers’ 50-42 loss last Tuesday to Cuba. “The boys were diving on the floor, trying to draw charges, rebounding and listening.
“We’ll be fine. If they play hard and do that every night for me, I’m happy with them. I always want to win, but these kids gave it all they had.”
The Tigers (0-1) started slow with just three first-quarter points and fell behind by 11 late in the first half. But behind Kobe Sutton’s long 3-pointer at the buzzer and another triple from Nathan Poynter early in the third, they closed the gap to four points and hung tight the rest of the way.
Turnovers and missed shots ultimately kept HHS from winning the season opener.
“We’re going to focus on valuing each possession and trying not to turn the ball over unnecessarily,” James said. “I’ve got guys I feel that will normally knock down shots that they missed. We can do some things to help them as we move forward.”
Poynter led the Tigers with 10 points as the lone player in double figures. Sutton hit a pair of 3s en route to nine points and Dylan Coulter had eight.
“We never got in a flow offensively,” James said. “We were scraping and clawing trying to manufacturer some points. We changed some lineups around trying to get guys to play better together.”
JUNIOR VARSITY: Sophomore Noah Mosley scored a team-best 15 points in the Houston JV Tigers’ 42-37 loss last Tuesday to Cuba.
Houston erased an early deficit and led 33-32 entering the fourth quarter.
Cuba 6 14 15 15 – 50
Houston 3 10 15 14 – 42
HOUSTON (42) –– Nathan Poynter 10. Dylan Coulter 8. Lucas Kelley 5. Caleb Adkison 4. Kobe Sutton 9. Skylar Malam 2. Keegan Spurlin 4. FG 13. FT 15-24. F 23. (3-pointers: Sutton 2, Poynter. Fouled out: Poynter, Kelley).
Cuba 10 12 10 10 – 42
Houston 5 16 13 4 – 37
HOUSTON (37) –– Taylon Jenkins 6. Paydon Dixon 6. Noah Mosley 15. Trevor Motzkus 7. CJ Lee 3. FG 17. FT 3-9. F 21. (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: Motzkus.