By Richard Greene
After a close first quarter Monday, the Poolville Monarchs turned up the pressure and turned out the lights on the Alvord Bulldogs.
Poolville, ranked ninth in the latest Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class A poll, used its press to create turnovers and opportunities in transition during a 25-0 run to open the second quarter. The Monarchs cruised from there on the way to a 73-45 victory at Alvord High School.
Alvord (6-7) committed seven turnovers, getting just four shots during Poolville’s run over the first four and half minutes of the second quarter. The Monachs extended their lead from 11-8 after the first quarter to 36-8 with 3:30 remaining in the first half.
“That’s been our Achilles’ heel through 13 games, handling the full-court pressure,” said Alvord coach Curtis Enis. “We’ll have two to three minutes or six to eight possessions where we get to going too fast and turn the ball over. They are learning my system right now and are doing a lot of thinking instead of reacting.”
Alvord turned the ball over 27 times with a majority coming near halfcourt, which allowed Poolville to quickly take the ball the other way. One of the turnovers near midcourt set up Poolville’s Vince Rodriguez with an opportunity to put an exclamation point on the win with a dunk in transition. His slam early in the fourth quarter put the Monarchs up 33, 67-34.
He finished with 14 points.
Alex Rodriguez led the Monarchs with 28 points. He ignited Poolville’s big second-quarter run with the first eight points of the frame. Rodriguez drilled back-to-back three-pointers and made a layup off a steal. He had 16 in the second quarter, putting Poolville up 40-16 at halftime.
The Alvord turnovers limited opportunities in the first half for its leading scorer Trevor Hardee. The senior forward had 10 in the first half and finished with 24 points. He also pulled down 14 rebounds.
“They had a good run and killed us with their press,” Hardee said. “If we can get it down the floor, we can score. Our strength is down low. If we can improve on those pressure situations and get it down the there, we’ll be fine.”