Sports Editor Peter Holland Jr.
FORT WORTH, TX — Likely the highlight of the season, the Central Christian College men’s basketball team pulled off a stunning upset over 19th ranked Texas Wesleyan University, 78-75 on Saturday. The Tigers improve to 9-9 on the season and 2-8 in the SAC conference.
“(I’m) Very proud of our team,” Head coach Tony Romero said. “We could have made a lot of excuses to not compete this weekend. We were missing four of our tops guys due to the flu, they couldn’t travel with us. We have been fighting but coming up short for most of the first round of the conference. I was pleased with how our guys competed this weekend, we had one bad stretch Thursday and came up short.”
Making up for the four missing starters were Darrell Bryant and Dominique O’Conner as they both dropped 20 points. Bryant added nine rebounds and two blocked shots. O’Conner was 4 of 7 from the three-point line. Romero reflected on their performance.
“Dominique (Dom) has been struggling, finding confidence and rhythm,” Romero said. “He did a great job tonight. Darrell was a monster on both ends of the floor and came up with a huge block in the final 10 seconds.”
The game was tied at 35 by end of the first half. Because it was fast-paced game, the Tigers focused on stopping the Rams defensively and not allowed them to make any shots. Texas Wesleyan shot 15 percent in three-pointers.
“Today, our guys showed a lot of character and guts. Texas Wesleyan is one of the best teams in our conference and one of the highest-scoring teams,” Romero said. “We knew we couldn’t get in a track meet with them, especially with the guys we had out. We had to slow the game down and for most of the game, we were able to keep them out of transition and contain their two guards on the three-point line.
I’ll say this, our guys compete and don’t quit. We are starting to embrace our identity a little more on the defensive end and executing better on the offensive end. I am hoping we can take this as momentum into next week and continue to improve.”
The Central women were not so lucky as they fell to Texas Wesleyan 62-42. It was at one point, the Lady Tigers were n the verge of pulling an upset before men after holding a 29-25 lead. It all fell apart in the second half when Texas Wesleyan outscored the Tigers 37-13. The Tigers had six points in the fourth quarter.
Zenith Henerdez led the Tigers with 12 points. CCC women are now 5-12 on the season and 2-8 in the SAC.
The Tigers will host Oklahoma City Unversity on Thursday, and then Southwestern Christian University on Saturday.