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Deer Park returns from break to deal Clear Falls 62-43 defeat

December 29, 2018 GMT

There was a double dose of good news in saying goodbye to 2018 for Deer Park’s varsity boys basketball team Friday afternoon.

For openers, the guys displayed little rust from the annual five-day Christmas break from games or practices and secondly, they didn’t have to travel all the way to Corpus Christi just to prove they’re better than Clear Falls.

Deer Park connected for 11 3-point goals, including four by Tristan Wright in the second period, as the Deer motored past the Knights 62-43 at Cotton Watkins Gym.

Deer Park’s man-to-man defense held Clear Falls to single digits in the opening two periods, allowing head coach Ryan Bright’s bunch to savor a 29-13 intermission lead. Wright’s four treys nearly allowed him to single-handedly outscore the Knights.

“We came out of the gate with good intensity, I thought. Offensively, we weren’t great the first couple of minutes but defensively we got after it from the get-go,” said Bright, whose club downed the Knights three weeks ago at a tourney in Corpus Christi.

The No. 1 achievement of the defense for the opening 16 minutes Friday was limiting the Knights to one bucket inside the arc.

“One of the keys to the game was to keep the ball out of the paint. We did that. From a coach’s standpoint, I was very, very pleased with that,” Bright said.

That tenacity inside the arc forced Clear Falls to find the open man outside the arc, prompting nine 3-point goals by game’s end.

On the strength of four 3s, Dorian Mason finished with 14 points for the visitors. Christian Terry netted 10.

Clear Falls did open the second half with a 14-6 run as the team hit their fourth, fifth and sixth 3-point goals in that stretch.

But Brad Milliorn, who scored 13 points, inflated the lead back to double digits with a 3-point goal.

It kicked off a stretch by Deer Park’s returning all-district player in which he scored 10 of the team’s next 15 points.

After Mason’s final bonus bucket, Milliorn took the starch out of that goal by sinking one of his own, keeping the lead at a comfortable 16 points.

Garrett Pineault opened the fourth with a 3-point goal, creating a 10-2 Deer surge after Falls got within eight points.

After Milliorn, Wright and Terry Anderson finished with 12 points each, while Andrew Madrigal secured nine points as Deer Park improved to 17-5 for the season.

In addition to his 12 points, Anderson also hauled in a team-high eight rebounds.

The afternoon’s loudest cheer was reserved for Troy Sheppard, who came off the bench and had a hand in the team’s final three buckets. He scored twice and bagged an assist.

Bright welcomed the guys back on Thursday with a morning practice. He loved the fact that he received 100 percent attendance.

“This practice is always a tough one after five days off. But I thought the boys did OK. It could have been better but they hit it pretty hard. That’s a testament to this group. We’ve got really good kids,” Bright said after the workout.