An impressive defensive effort lifted the Longhorn boys basketball team to a 63-51 win over Eloy Santa Cruz Tuesday evening at Wilson Dome.
Mixing defensive schemes, the Horns were able to hold the Dust Devils in check throughout the crucial second half.
"We used some man (to man), a 1-2-2 zone, a 2-3 (zone) and a 3/4 court press," coach Randy Wilcox said. "We played decent defense."
Although SC trailed only 25-20 at halftime, the outcome of the game was never much in doubt. The Horns put an end to any hopes the Devils harbored by outing the visitors 24-13 in the third quarter of play.
Leading 49-33 early in the fourth quarter, Wilcox emptied the bench to give significant playing time to the entire roster.
Following the game, the coach lauded the team for its unselfish effort.
"We played well as a team ... I'd call it a good team effort," Wilcox said.
Those comments were in sharp contrast to the ones the coach uttered after a 62-56 loss to Globe one week ago. "We stopped playing team ball," he said at the time.
The key to future wins, the coach said, will be to continue to play unselfishly.
With the win over SC, the Horns push their early season credentials to 3-3.
In freshman action Tuesday in Wilson Dome, the Horn plebes survived a 48-46 thriller thanks to a last second lay-up by Kyle Hubbard.
In the early going, the Horns trailed by as many as eight points, but rallied behind a much- improved defensive effort to salvage the win.
Early in the fourth quarter, Mike Barr pulled off a rarity for a freshman player. After a steal, the 6 foot, 5 inch Barr drove the length of the floor for a slam dunk.
Barr finished with 17 points. Craig Connolly contributed six.