The No. 14 McLennan Highlanders walloped the Weatherford Coyotes in the first conference road game of the season.
The two teams appeared evenly matched in the first half. McLennan opened the game on a 4-0 run comprised of a Dayante McClellan layup and a Xaiver Armstead tip in from under the rim. McLennan built a seven-point lead at 13-6 with 16 minutes to go in the first. The Coyotes fought back and tied the game at 15. The two teams then traded the lead the rest of the way. Weatherford was plagued by fouls early in the half, putting the Highlanders in the bonus with 12:48 remaining. The Highlanders went 15-19 from the line in the half and would take the 44-38 advantage into the break.
The Highlanders emerged from the locker room with fire in their eyes. Xaiver Armstead drained a long ball less than 15 seconds into the half and Daniel Pinho Severo followed with a jumper to open on a 5-0 run, giving the Highlanders their first double-digit lead of the contest at 49-38. A Chance Edwards 3-pointer would pull Weatherford within eight, 49-41, with just under 19 minutes remaining on the clock But the Highlanders put the nail in the Coyotes coffin by outscoring their opponents 25-8 over the next nine minutes, and led by as many as 28 down the stretch.
Xaiver Armstead led the way for McLennan with 25 points. Daniel Pinho Severo and Jashawn Talton chipped in 14 and 12, respectively. Dayante McClellan rounded out the Highlanders in double figures with 10.
In the early game, the Highlassies fell to the Lady Coyotes 82-69.
The game was tit-for-tat through the first quarter. Weatherford built a four-point lead several times in the period. McLennan’s Jaylonn Walker and Velma Mitchell kept the Highlassies close with two 3-pointers each in the quarter. The Lady Coyotes led 18-16 after one quarter of play. Weatherford began to distance themselves from McLennan in the second quarter. The Lady Coyotes took their first double-digit lead at 31-21 midway through the period and extended it to 12 at the half, 43-31.
The Highlassies didn’t give up and rallied in the third quarter. Weatherford led by 14, 53-39, midway through the quarter. McLennan trimmed the lead to eight, 57-49, with just over a minute to play in the third but Weatherford ended the period on a 7-2 run to go back up by 13 heading to the final period. The Highlassies cut the lead back to 10 with 8:39 to play in the fourth. The Lady Coyotes responded with a 12-3 run over the next two minutes. Weatherford extended the lead to 20 with 4:29 to go. McLennan rallied late to cut the lead to 13 but ran out of time to complete the comeback.
Jaylonn Walker led the Highlassies’ scorers with 18 points and Velma Mitchell chipped in 10.
McLennan continues with road games Saturday against Collin in Plano with the women’s game tipping off at 2 p.m., followed by the men’s game at 4 p.m.