• July 28, 2014

Hard work pays off for Long

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Posted: Friday, November 29, 2013 4:30 am

The Killeen Kangaroos boys basketball team has seen the difficulty of games increase as the season presses on. Brian Long helped the Roos pass their biggest home test last week.

He scored a team-high 21 points and helped the Roos (3-1) to their third straight home win to open the season.

“We have a lot of confidence in our home gym,” Long said. “Before the season started, we made a pact that we wouldn’t lose in our home territory, we wouldn’t lose in our home court. That’s what we’re striving for, we’re not going to lose on our home court.”

Long’s performance against the Bryan Vikings in a 66-62 overtime win helped him earn the KDHPressbox.com Player of the Week honor for the week of Nov. 25.

The 6-foot-3 senior received 1,713 votes and beat out Lampasas’ Shonderius Howard (1,436 votes), Shoemaker’s Shane Johnson and Killeen’s Ceida Williams.

Killeen opened the season with a pair of wins over Waco University and Pflugerville Connally, but the schedule became more challenging against Bryan.

Last year, the Vikings outlasted the Roos in a triple overtime game and another extra session was in order last week after the teams finished regulation tied at 56.

“We had revenge in mind,” Long said. “We had to come back. We worked on them in practice. We studied plays and we watched film. We worked and worked and worked. We just came out here ready to go.”

Killeen took the lead for good on a Long bucket in the paint that made it 59-58 with 2:50 remaining in overtime.

After halftime, Long took a bigger role in the Killeen offense as the Roos changed from their trademark run and gun style to a half-court offense that dumped the ball inside to Long and fellow post Melvin Anthony.

Long, a University of Texas at Pan American signee, and Anthony, a University of Arkansas at Fort Smith signee, combined to score 15 points in the second half.

“The test are getting bigger and bigger,” Killeen coach Reggie Huggins said.

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