GATESVILLE — Led by Kennon Moore’s 40 points in two games, Gatesville rattled off two victories in the opening day of the Gatesville Holiday Tournament.
The Hornets defeated Leander Glenn in the opening game 67-46 and Goldthwaite 63-44 in the afternoon game on Wednesday.
In the later game, the Hornets came out buzzing.
Moore grabbed the rebound following his own miss for the putback, sending Gatesville up 8-0 just 3 minutes, 30 seconds into the contest, forcing an Eagles timeout.
The lead grew to as much as 11-0 following a Josh Carroll layup.
Moore led all scorers in the game with 21 points.
“He played great in that game,” Gatesville coach Thomas Winkler said. “He’s an anchor for us. The kids know that when we need a bucket, that is usually who we are looking to.
“He’s much better this year compared to last year, because he’s much more polished at finishing at the rim.”
Gatesville (11-7) had a fast 14-4 lead after the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Hornets did not let up.
Alex Mata stole the ball from a Goldthwaite player and went coast to coast to the other end of the floor for a Hornets layup, putting Gatesville up 18-4 with 5:11 remaining before the break.
The lead grew to 20 points on Matt Romero’s bucket, and the home team went into halftime up with what seemed to be a commanding 32-11 lead.
In the second half, Wacey Bowland sent the crowd to their feet when he followed Brandon Hill’s missed shot with a two-handed slam dunk, giving Gatesville a 39-18 lead with 4:10 left to play in the quarter.
Bowland ended the game with eight points in the game.
The Eagles did not quit, however.
The lead shrunk to 12 points at 53-41 with 3:22 left in the fourth quarter, which was the smallest the lead had been in the second half. Gatesville finished the contest on a 10-3 run to win by a comfortable margin of 19 points.
Both teams shot well from the free-throw line. Gatesville finished by going 11 for 15, and Goldthwaite (6-6) ended the game by going 6 of 8.
“I thought we started off really well in that second game,” Winkler said. “We really executed offensively, we were getting the ball inside, which is what we want to do. Defensively, we really got after it.
“We were switching the defense up a couple of times to give them some different looks. We were able to get some steals and deflections that caused them to hurry.”
Mata and Carroll both finished the game with double-digit scoring. tallying 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Earlier in the day, Gatesville cruised to a 21-point win over Leander Glenn behind Moore’s 19 points and Bowland’s 17-point effort.
Nine Hornets scored in the opener. Once again, the Hornets were ahead quickly by jumping out to a 15-3 lead at the end of the first quarter over the Grizzlies.
Tyler Lewis contributed with eight points in the win, including a made 3-pointer in the opening quarter.
Following the two wins, Winkler praised the effort his team gave in both games.
“The Goldthwaite game,” he said, “we really pushed the ball and set the tempo.
“We just have been playing all-around good basketball lately. We have done a good job of blocking out, and haven’t given up many offensive boards.”
The Hornets return to action today against Class 4A No.12 Wharton at 10 a.m. and will play a second game at either 3 p.m. or 4 p.m.
GATESVILLE HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT
Gatesville 67, Leander Glenn 46
Wharton 90, Goldthwaite 38
Pflugerville Connally 83, Mexia 59
Forth Worth Country Day 60, Llano 45
Gatesville 63, Goldthwaite 44
Wharton 88, Leander Glenn 46