By tipoff at 2:30 p.m. Monday, Bryan senior guard Jaqwan Washington had been at Viking Gym for hours.
He and his Viking teammates wanted to build on the lessons they learned in a 65-50 loss to College Station last Tuesday, and that included getting to the gym 4 1/2 hours before a scheduled matchup against crosstown rival A&M Consolidated.
That work showed as Bryan (5-2) took down the Tigers 74-46 in nondistrict action.
“Going to the paint, going to the rim, that’s all we had to do,” Washington said. “We couldn’t take a lot of outside shots, so we have to go inside because they come really hard at us off one, playing man defense.”
Three Vikings, including Washington with 18 points, finished in double figures, but the biggest challenge for Consol (1-1) was Bryan’s fast-paced man-to-man defense.
“Any time your team is good defensively, it’s always more than one person,” Bryan head coach Chris Jones said. “It was a good team effort, defensively. We’re still working on some things, and we’ve just got to get them worked out.”
The Vikings put the pressure on early, forcing turnovers and dominating the boards, taking a 17-8 lead to close out the first quarter on a Kris Calhoun 3-pointer from the top of the key. Consol cut the deficit to five points early in the second quarter, but a pair of free throws by Johnathon Wells sparked a 13-2 run over three-plus minutes to stretch Bryan’s lead into double digits about two minutes before halftime. Washington scored eight points in the second quarter, and Wells had six of his 14, including a pair of fast-break layups during the run. Rodney Johnson added 13 points for the Vikings.
“They’re just very athletic, and if we don’t do the fundamentals, like we said before the game, we knew the score could be that lopsided,” Consol head coach Thirman Dimery said. “But if we had blocked out and stayed in front of them, nothing spectacular, just blocking out would have been great.”
Dimery added that three starters, Nate Floyd, Jaylon Harrison and Makel Williams, currently are playing football, but early season games such as Monday’s are good learning experiences for the Tigers and their coaching staff.
Bryan’s dominance continued into the second half. Washington’s 3-pointer sparked a two-minute, 12-0 Vikings run to push the score to 48-26. A 3-pointer by Jordan Gray snapped a five-minute field goal drought. Gray led Consol with 26 points, and TJ Campbell added seven.
Bryan answered Gray’s trey with a 6-0 run that stretched into the fourth quarter. Zavion Logan and Jahmandric Moore, recent JV call-ups, contributed much of the scoring in the final period and finished with nine and seven points, respectively.
“We’re still trying to build it,” Jones said. “We’re trying to see where everyone fits and what they do best and how they gel together.”
Consol returns to Tiger Gym to take on Lufkin at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, while Bryan heads to Waller for a 4 p.m. tipoff.
Bryan 74, A&M Consolidated 46
Consol 8 12 13 13 — 46
Bryan 12 18 23 14 — 74
CONSOL (1-1) —Tim Bradford 4, Jordan Gray 26, Reece Peel 1, TJ Campbell 7, Jayden Smith 2, Zach Hassan 2, Tetherance Miles 4.
BRYAN (5-2) — Rodney Johnson 13, Nicholas Kasper 1, Jacob Bradford 1, Jahmandric Moore 7, Jacob Barnes 4, Logan Chamberlain 3, Johnathon Wells 14, Kris Calhoun 4, Zavion Wells 9, Jaqwan Washington 18. Next: Lufkin at Consol, 2:30 p.m. Tuesday; Bryan at Waller, 4 p.m. Tuesday