The Belton Tigers looked to stay undefeated on Monday night at Tiger Gym, as they hosted the Waco University High School Trojans.
Belton jumped to an early 7-0 lead and never trailed, as they defeated the Trojans, 74-55.
The Tigers moved to 2-0 on the season, with a matchup against the Temple Wildcats at the Mayborn Campus Center on Saturday afternoon at 5:30 p.m.
Kiron Griffin, Jr. started the rally with a three-pointer on the first shot of the game. Jordin Ellis scored moments later and Dontori Lott followed with a layup to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead.
After the Trojans hit a three-pointer, Lott hit two layups to force University to call a timeout with 4:32 to play in the first quarter, with Belton leading 11-3.
The Trojans closed the gap to two points at the start of the second quarter, 13-11. Lott’s slam-dunk with just under seven minutes to play in the first half helped fuel the Tigers’ moment, as Belton closed the half on a 18-11 clip to lead 31-22 at the break.
After a University three-pointer to start the quarter, Lott’s lay-in deep into the paint and Jarian Kerley’s two three-pointers turned up the heat on the Trojans again. Kayden Downs converted a traditional three-point play and Ellis got an assist from Kyle O’Banon on a three-point shot to give the Tigers a 45-36 lead at the end of the third quarter.
The Trojans worked their deficit back to seven, 45-38, when Griffin took at 25-foot jumper from left elbow of the three-point arc and was fouled by Derek Hopkins. The shot went through the cylinder and Griffin completed the four-point play.
The Tigers led by as many as 22 points in the fourth quarter and outscored University 29-19 for a 19-point win.
Griffin led all scorers with 23 points. Lott added 13 points and Ellison added 12 points.
Belton head coach Trovocie Jackson was pleased the performance for the second straight game, following the team’s 71-55 win over Waco last Friday night at Tiger Gym.
“Overall, you never be mad at the effort that the guys have given,” Jackson said. “It was an effort that created opportunities for those guys to finish up a run. Our pressure was able to get to University’s guards.”
Lott, Griffin and the team worked tirelessly to make opportunities, inside and out, to separate themselves from the Trojans.
“Dontori has worked extremely hard in the offseason and his work is starting to show,” Jackson said. “It’s starting to play dividends. We looked at his shot chart. He didn’t have his best game, but he still played pretty darned good. He’s only going to get better. I’m very proud of him.”
Temple is up on Saturday and the rivalry is always a great one. The Tigers consider Temple one of the keys on their schedule, due to the closeness in style of play to members of District 8-6A.
“We scheduled our pre-district schedule to closely match the style of play in District 8-6A,” Jackson said. “Temple matches it. Pflugerville Connally does that. Burnet, with their new group of guys, does that. Manor has an athletic group of guys. They do the same things. They get up and they push out on you. We wanted to see that as much as we can to prepare us for the district.”