Basketball: Texans lose grip on first in 5-6A

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, January 20, 2016
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Over the first 16 minutes Friday night, the Northwest Texans couldn’t keep a grip on the ball or Keller’s RJ Nembhard.

CONTESTED SHOT – Northwest’s Javon Lipscombe tries to get a shot over a Keller defender during the Texans’ loss Friday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Northwest turned the ball over 15 times in the opening half. Several of those turnovers led to easy transition hoops for Nembhard, who scored 22 of his 34 points before halftime in Keller’s 54-38 victory at Texan Gym.

Keller took over sole possession of first place in District 5-6A with the win. Northwest (16-7) dropped to second at 4-1.

“It only counts once, but it’s frustrating,” said Northwest coach Mike Hatch. “It was the third time we’ve played a big-time team and didn’t look like we’ve learned anything from the previous two times.”

Northwest struggled in the half-court offense in the first half, getting only four field goals with the 15 turnovers. For the game, Northwest shot 11-for-27 with 26 turnovers.

“We made them look good. We turned the ball over 26 times against a team that wasn’t even pressing,” Hatch said. “We didn’t give ourselves a chance.”

Seven of the turnovers came on offensive fouls, including charges drawn by Keller’s Jared Bowman.

“We knew going in that their No. 20 was going to take charges and the kid took five,” Hatch said.

The troubles on the offensive end led to opportunities for Nembhard to get to the basket. He had eight in the opening quarter to get Keller out to a 15-8 lead.

In the second quarter, Nembhard scored all 14 points for Keller. His second rim-rattling dunk in transition put Keller up 29-12 in the final minute of the half.

Keller was up 16 at halftime.

Northwest kept Nembhard out of the lane in the second half and held him to 12 points – four came at the free-throw line in the final minute.

With a Darrell Simpson layup with 4:15 left, Northwest cut the deficit to 12, 41-29. The Texans never got closer.

Simpson led the Texans with 16 points and 10 rebounds.


Keller … 15 … 14 … 10 … 15 … – … 54
Northwest … 8 … 5 … 11 … 14 … – … 38

KELLER (10-8, 5-0) – Paul Brewer 2, Austin McGee 2, RJ Nembhard 34, Shane Steinkraus 7, Nolan Taylor 9.

NORTHWEST (16-7, 4-1) – Avery Anderson 2, Hunter Herrick 7, Elorm Koto 3, Tavien Ezell 5, Javon Lipscombe 5, Darrell Simpson 16.

FIELD GOALS – Keller 19-39; Northwest 11-27. 3-pointers – Keller 2-11 (Nembhard, Steinkraus); Northwest 1-6 (Herrick). Free throws – Keller 14-22; Northwest 15-20. Rebounds – Keller 18 (Taylor 6); Northwest 22 (Simpson 10).

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