FULSHEAR – With an influx of youth, the Fulshear boys basketball team is going through a quick ebb and flow of trying to be a consistently great team. But as of Monday, it was clearly more ebb than flow.
The Chargers struggled to score in the second half, as Kempner outscored Fulshear 36-29 to pull out a 65-62 win at Charger Gym. The Cougars relied on the scoring of guard Coby Farley, who scored 23 of his 28 points in the second half.
“We just got stagnant offensively, if the ball had moved a little more,” Fulshear head coach Brett Nixon said. “I think because of the early success that we had, we got stagnant because it was working early.
“I think it was a good game for us because it is going to teach us adversity. It’s going to be a game that we’re going to use in the future.”
Fulshear started out strong in the first quarter, as senior guard Demani Williams swooped to the bucket several times for layups, and a few three-point plays to help the Chargers take a 20-12 lead. Williams kept scoring with layups and a short jumper to give him 20 first-half points, while guard Jackson Edge and forward Isaiah Barganier each hit a three-pointer to put Fulshear up 33-29 at halftime.
But Kempner (3-5) took the lead, as Farley hit a couple of three-pointers early in the third quarter to put the Cougars ahead by four. Farley scored a couple of layups later, and forward Bryan Etunmu scored on a three-point play as Kempner scored 19 points in the quarter to take a 48-43 lead.
Meanwhile, Fulshear struggled to find its shooting in the second half. Not only did Williams get locked down defensively, he didn’t make a shot in the second half. Edge got good looks at several three-pointers, but couldn’t get them to fall.
Barganier started to carry the offensive load for the Chargers, who were down as many as eight points in the fourth quarter. Sophomore forward Sam Akinrelere added a couple of close-range jumpers to cut the lead to four.
Then with 18 seconds left, Barganier hit a three-pointer to cut the deficit to a single point.
But Farley, who hit a three-pointer earlier in the quarter, scored 13 points in the fourth quarter, including six from the free-throw line to seal the win.
Williams led Fulshear with 23 points, with Barganier adding 15 points. Etunmu also scored 15 points for Kempner.
The Chargers will try to bounce back with play in the Lamar Consolidated ISD tournament, which will begin on Thursday.