The Anna Coyotes were never seriously challenged in the first three games of the 2016 Highway 5 Classic basketball tournament, winning two of the three by double-digits.
The Dallas Thunder, a home-school team, held off a fourth-quarter rally by Anna to post a 61-54 win for the championship.
Three pointers by senior E.J. Smith and senior Donald Maloid made it close in the first period, but the Thunder was running and gunning for an 18-10 advantage.
After dropping in a short jumper from the left side, senior Keamoni Mattocks drove the baseline and scored against the taller Thunder defense. Mattocks, who, like Smith, was an all-tournament selection, canned a 3-pointer from the right side to make it an 11-point game, with the Thunder on top.
Junior Hunter Lebo scored a three and a two from the free-throw line sent the teams to the brink, with the Thunder up 34-23.
A 12-7 run by the Thunder in the third quarter put the Coyotes in a big hole.
Anna got five points from Smith and two from senior Duante Rose in the quarter, but trailed by 16 heading into the final period.
The Anna Coyotes battled fiercely to get the lead down to the single digits.
A Mattocks 3-ball, then his two free throws, started the fourth quarter rally.
Anna made four baskets from deep in the quarter and outscored the Thunder 24-15, but it still wasn’t enough to offset that third period run.
Maloid, senior Forrest Durrett and Mattocks all had 3-pointers in the period and Mattocks’s three cut the Thunder lead to just eight.
Two-of-three from the free-throw line and another short jumper by Mattocks closed out the game and tournament for the Coyotes.
Anna’s next three are at Frisco Heritage on Dec. 13, home against Lake Worth on the 17 and the Coyotes travel north to Van Alstyne on Dec. 20.
Anna 65 — Colleyville Covenant 57
Anna outscored Covenant 19-13 in the fourth quarter on the way to a 65-57 win at the Highlway 5 Classic.
Mattocks had 22 points to Lead the Coyotes and .Smith added 15. Maloid had 10.
Anna 45, R.L. Turner 22
The Coyotes cruised to a 23-point win over Carrollton R.L Turner at the Highway 5 Classic on Dec. 9.
Mattocks had 17 points and Smith added 12 as the Coyotes never trailed in the easy win.
Anna 82, F.W. Castleberry 57
The Anna Coyotes got the Highway 5 Classic Tournament off to a positive start with an 82-57 win over Ft.Worth Castleberry.
Anna was hot from beyond the arc, making ten 3-pointers in the blowout win.
Three-pointers by Maloid and junior Hunter Lebo got the offense rolling in this one.
After leading by just four at the end of the first quarter, Anna stepped up the pace in the second.
Two from past the arc by E.J.Smith started the fireworks, and another Lebo 3-ball ended it eight minutes later, with the Coyotes breezing 44-23.
Anna got most of its third quarter points off of plays in the paint.
A Forrest Durrett pass to Smith for an easy layup and a senior Lawrence Goade score on a drive down the lane pushed the lead to 30 in the third.
Anna went back to dialing up 3-pointers in the final quarter as a Maloid 3-ball started the scoring. Mattocks stepped into a 3-pointer that gave Anna a 63-38 lead after a brief Castleberry run.
Two more 3-pointers by Durrett closed out the scoring in Anna’s 25-point win.
Anna coach Tim Phifer said he was proud of his team after the Castleberry game.
“I like the way we played today,” he said. “We showed a lot of effort, especially when they made that run in the fourth period. As a first year coach, there are a lot of changes you make to what players are comfortable with, and I can see a lot of progress through our first 10 games.”