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Smoking For Jesus boys basketball defeats Austin Royals for first district win

CAPTION: Smoking For Jesus sophomore guard Michael Richard and the Eagles earn a big win in their first district contest as members of the Texas Association of Independent Athletic Organizations. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

The Smoking For Jesus boys basketball team beat Austin Royals 90-84 in overtime Jan. 3 to begin district play as members of the Texas Association of Independent Athletic Organizations.

“This opens up our confidence and really shows the type of team we have,” head coach Boo Maxwell said. “We had some early tests we handled well. The guys were excited, I was excited and the crowd was excited. It was a great win.”

The two teams played to a 16-16 tie after the first quarter and Royals led 38-36 at the half and 56-52 at the end of the third period.

Maxwell noted senior guard Isaac Legier scored four 3-pointers in the first half, and senior Bryson Culver couldn’t be contained.

“Bryson got going early in the second quarter,” he said. “He went in and rebounded and scored. He caused havoc. In the second half, he and Issac were going back and forth.”

But the Eagles came back, outscoring Royals 22-18 in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime tied at 74-74.

“In the fourth quarter, we locked down on defense,” Maxwell said. “That helped us pull it out.”

In the extra session, Smoking For Jesus outscored Royals 16-10 for the win.

Legier had 30 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. Culver scored 31 points and had 12 rebounds, and senior Jonathan Frazier dropped in 19 points and had eight rebounds.

“Bryson really stepped up,” the coach said. “Joe hit some critical threes late in the fourth quarter. If we get Joe, Issac and Bryson in double digits, our chances of winning go very high. We can control the tempo on the defensive end. When those guys are double-digit scorers, our chances are very high of winning the ball game.”

The Eagles travel to Lometa to play at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6.

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