Alvord’s Austin Hudnell drained a 3-pointer with 6:20 left in the third quarter to cut the Paradise Panthers’ lead to six Friday.
The shot served as a wake-up call for the Panthers, who responded with a 13-2 run to end the frame and put the game away. Paradise rolled to a 66-41 victory over the Bulldogs at Alvord High School gym.
“It was just a matter of locking down defensively,” said Paradise coach Tim Dukes. “That’s the key to every game is locking down on the defensive end.”
Landry Norwood led Paradise with 14 points. Caiden Berry came off the bench to score 11.
“It was an overall good team win,” Dukes said.
Paradise built a double-digit lead in the first quarter, 15-4, on a Norwood 3-pointer, and led 31-21 at halftime.
After a pair of free throws from Joe Randall and Hudnell’s 3-pointer, Alvord crept within six, 32-26. Alvord then went the next six minutes without a point until a basket from Troy Morales ended an 11-0 Paradise run.
During the run, Berry had a couple of putbacks after offensive boards.
“Caiden was huge off the bench,” Dukes said. “Landy and Cash [Preather] did a good job of getting us going in the third.”
Paradise carried a 45-28 lead into the fourth quarter. The Panthers built the lead to 20 with 3:56 left on back-to-back drives to the basket by Norwood.
Randall led all scorers with 18 points. He hit a pair of 3-pointers in the final frame.