HARKER HEIGHTS — Celneque Bobbitt was frustrated with his team’s inconsistent start to the season.
But the Harker Heights head coach is breathing a little bit easier now after the Knights defeated the Temple Wildcats 56-41 on Friday at Harker Heights.
It wasn’t even that competitive. Heights (14-7, 2-1 8-5A) opened a 21-9 lead after one quarter and led by as much as 20 for the rest of the game.
Not bad for a team that, as Bobbitt put it, “Got our butts whooped by (El Paso) Montwood, whose biggest kid is 6 feet tall — they pulled a modern-day Hoosiers on us. But it taught us that we need to play as a team.”
Heights had eight players score, with Josh Delaney leading all scorers with 15 points. The junior guard hit all three attempts from behind the arc. Andre Hughes added 11 points and four rebounds while shutting down the lane and making it difficult for Temple to drive to the basket .
The Wildcats (8-10, 0-3), meanwhile, were as cold as the weather in the Central Texas area from the field.
Sophomore Chad President and senior Demario Derrow each had 12 points for Temple — but a high percentage of their points came late when the game was already decided.
“We need to play with more consistency in order to beat teams like this,” Temple coach Eric Jackson said. “We have to hit the open shots and not have so many letdowns on the defensive end of the floor.”
The Knights did hit open shots — many by Delaney.
“We lost our first district game but now (we’ve won two in a row) — it feels good to be 2-1,” Delaney said.
Hughes added: “It was a good win. We just have to keep up the intensity to keep winning.”
According to Bobbitt, Hughes’ intensity was inconsistent at best during the season’s early going but Hughes found some mojo during the tournament in Austin.
“We actually had to bench him because he wasn’t doing as well as he should have been,” Bobbitt said. “But he was named to the all-tournament team while coming off the bench and it showed him what he can do.
“When he plays his game he is a beast.”
After blocking a shot on the defensive end, Hughes trailed the fast-breaking Knights down the court. The 6–foot-6 post found himself alone in 3-point territory and didn’t hesitate — he drained the shot.
“It’s not really something I do — I can hit it down though,” Hughes said. “I can play every position on the floor so I am confident with what I can do.”