By MIKE IBANEZ
Tuesday night’s non-district boys basketball game between Lewisville and Irving MacArthur was an exhibition in the Farmers’ new-found versatility.
Choose to smother 6’8” post Jydonn Griffith with a zone defense? LHS coach Gary Collier will counter with instant offense in the form of reserve guard Ethan Gregory. Decide to extend the zone and guard Gregory? Farmer point guard Marcus Jefferson will distribute to Griffith for easy points. Run at the Lewisville defense and force fouls? Collier’s reserves will keep up the scoring pace while resting foul-prone starters.
The Farmers used multiple scoring channels en route to their 66-55 win over MacArthur at LHS Arena. The game was the last non-tournament non-district contest for Lewisville, who will open District 5-6A play next Friday at Southlake Carroll.
Griffith led all LHS scorers with 15 points, including five of the first seven for the Farmers. When MacArthur defenders packed the lane with a zone defense, Collier unleashed Gregory from the bench and the junior sharpshooter responded with three three-pointers in a three-minute stretch to turn an 11-10 deficit into a 23-20 lead.
Gregory finished with 14 points.
“We got a little inside-outside action tonight,” Collier said after the game. “Ethan knocked down some shots and that’s what he’s here to do. He’s going to play a lot more in games like this than against teams that play man and are more aggressive on him.”
Patrick Bethea contributed 12 points despite being limited due to early foul trouble. The senior guard connected on a pair of three-pointers to open the second half, extending the LHS lead to 41-28 but picked up his third foul with 4:30 left in the third quarter, forcing him to the bench. When he returned, he was quickly charged with his fourth foul less than a minute into the fourth quarter.
“He got into a little trouble and needs to play a little smarter at times, but Patrick can do so many things for us,” Collier said. “He rebounds well and when his shot is going down that’s a plus because that’s not the main thing he brings. He can guard three to four positions depending on the team we’re playing. and that’s what we count on him for.”
Bethea’s foul woes, combined with similar issues with fellow starter Jajuan Nash, led to extended playing time for reserves Arshveer Mattu and Jajuan Lane, who each scored four points.
“Arshveer didn’t score a lot but he played critical minutes for us,” Collier added. “And Evan filled it up so we got a lot out of our bench. Those guys were on our junior varsity last year and are kind of ‘deer in the headlights’ right now so hopefully when district starts these kinds of games will prove valuable experience-wise.”
Zay Booker led all MacArthur scorers with 24 points. The Cardinals are struggling in their first season without standout guard Andrew Jones, who is a freshman starter at the University of Texas.
The win improved LHS’ record to 7-4. The Farmers advanced to the semifinal round of the highly-competitive Curtis Culwell Classic in Garland last weekend. After two wins, and with a championship trophy in sight, the Farmers lost a semifinal game to Rowlett 60-55, before dropping the consolation game to Garland Lakeview Centennial 56-52.
The LHS girls team defeated Krum 51-32 last Friday to close out the non-district portion of its schedule at 6-7.
McKenzie Bowie led all Lady Farmer scorers with 12 points. Sharmaine Harper added 11 points and Amani Alston had 10.