Jaylin Mayfield isn’t the kind of player to throw up low quality shots, demand the ball or be demonstrative during a basketball game.
Instead the senior post will throw his body into a crowded lane for a rebound, hit an open 3-pointer from the perimeter and do whatever needs to be done to get a win.
Mayfield scored 19 points and helped the Roos overcome a slow first quarter to beat the Pflugerville Connally Cougars 71-60 on Friday at the Killeen High gym.
“I don’t ball hog at all,” Mayfield said. “I just pass the ball. If I get an open shot, I shoot it. If I get the rebound, I put it back up.”
Mayfield scored 11 points after halftime, including a 3-pointer midway through the third quarter.
“Tonight all of that work paid off,” Killeen head coach Reggie Huggins said about Mayfield. “He’s hustling, rebounding, he kept us afloat until we were able to get that lead and push it out. The game ball goes to him.”
Killeen senior post Melvin Anthony and Demarius Cress scored 11 points apiece.
The paint was a big factor in the contest as Connally (1-1) was able to drive openly for rebounds and buckets in the first quarter, but Killeen took control of the game once they began dominating the paint with its posts.
“We needed to find that fire to get up and get ourselves running,” Anthony said. “We came out in the second half, put effort in, we ran plays and they worked.”
The Cougars held an 11-5 rebounding edge and outscored Killeen 14-4 in the paint in the first quarter. The Roos were able to double-up Connally’s rebounding total (23-13) and outscore the Cougars in the paint 30-4 after the opening frame.
The Roos entered the second quarter facing an eight-point deficit before Dadrien Moore finished consecutive drives to the hoop that sparked a 10-2 run.
“They really did a good job of breaking our press and coming down and converting,” Huggins said.
Cress’ lone 3-pointer of the night came 30 seconds before halftime and sent the Roos to the locker room with a 37-36 lead.
Killeen was not able to build a lead larger than six points until Anthony drove to the basket, was fouled and completed a 3-point play to make it 52-47 Killeen with 2:15 remaining in the third. That play sparked an 8-0 run that was capped by a Mayfield putback 30 seconds into the fourth quarter.
Though the defense forced 15 turnovers, free throws were a struggle for Killeen as the Roos converted only 51 percent from the line (23 for 45).
“If we would have made free throws, it wouldn’t have been that close,” Anthony said.
Killeen looks for its third straight home win of the season on Friday when it hosts Bryan. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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