The Gainesville Leopards were forced to cancel Friday’s basketball game because of bad weather, but they are still in a good position to make a run in district play when they travel to Aubrey on Friday, Jan. 17.
Gainesville took down Nocona 51-45 on Jan. 7, on the shoulders of a consistently strong first half to go with 15 points from Robyn Hardin and 14 points from Noah Ridge.
The Leopards improved to 12-7 on the season and Gainesville head coach Jeff Wolf said it was a nice bounce-back game after their loss to Community.
“The guys played really hard and Nocona was a really well-coached team,” Wolf said. “At one point it was 18-3 on the fouls, so we had tons of guys in foul trouble. Just to fight through that adversity, come out on top and make our free throws at the end of the game was good. We attacked the basket offensively and we shared the ball. Against Community we missed a lot of free throws, but they took it more personally to hit their free throws against Nocona.”
Gainesville wanted to lean on its defense and hold Nocona to fewer than 50 points. Wolf said the defense was good the entire game.
“We held them to 45 points and they had several free throws in there,” Wolf said. “They didn’t have too many field goals. We just wore them out basically and that was our game plan was to use our athleticism.”
The Leopards were prepared to face Alvord on Friday, but the threat of tornadoes delayed the games to Saturday. Then, snow forced them to cancel and Wolf said he was hoping to get in more valuable experience before they begin district play.
“We wanted to play and Alvord was underrated,” Wolf said. “At the same time, it helps us because we had some kids that were sick and that allows them to rest up before the big district game on Friday.”
Gainesville travels to Callisburg on Tuesday, Jan. 14, with hopes of revenge after falling to the Wildcats 67-61 earlier in the season.
Callisburg’s Landon Condiff was a thorn in the Leopards’ side and Wolf says they hope to shut him down this time.
“He had like 44 points and 16 rebounds against us,” Wolf said. “He’s their team. He’s an all-state player and the best player we’ve gone against this year. He can shoot, dribble and pass. He can do it all. We have to make it tougher on his shots and keep him off the free-throw line.”
Patrick Hayslip can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @PatrickHayslip