Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Argyle boys knock off rival Lovejoy, 40-37
THE COLONY – Argyle head coach John King knew his program had not shown what it is capable of in its first two meetings with Lovejoy.
In two previous meetings this season, Lovejoy (29-8) had gotten the best of Argyle with two double-digit wins early in the season.
On Tuesday in a Class 3A Region II quarterfinal game, the Eagles showed, for the second straight season, that they were the best team when it mattered, eliminating Lovejoy for the second straight season by a slim three-point margin with a 40-37 win.
“This year we didn’t play as well as I thought we could the first two times,” King said. “And to be honest, I didn’t coach very good, and we didn’t run all of our stuff. Part of that was on purpose because we knew we’d see them here.”
And one of those hidden secrets the Eagles had paid hefty dividends early in Tuesday’s game.
King knew his team would have an advantage with its outside shooting, as the coach had devised some new ways to free shooting guard Connor York beyond the arc.
York, a senior, responded with four first-half 3-pointers to give him 14 first-half points before finishing with a team-high 17 points on 4-of-7 shooting from three-point range.
“We knew they hadn’t seen a lot that we were going to do,” York said. “We had a lot of plays they hadn’t seen. We just executed everything perfectly.
“We had wide-open looks. [Point guard] Zach [Dickerson] was penetrating well. We needed to be patient. That was our whole key tonight. They just found me in open looks and that’s my job to knock down 3s. I just did my part. They did theirs.”
York was quiet in the second half but was huge down the stretch, going 3-for-4 from the foul line in the final 21 seconds for his only points in the second half that iced the game, and Argyle’s return trip to the Class 3A Region II tournament in Commerce where the Eagles will face Texarkana Pleasant Grove in the semifinal. Argyle was eliminated in the regional final last season with a loss to Dallas A. Maceo Smith.
“He [York] did a fantastic job in the first half,” King said. “They did a good job of locking him down in the second, but he hit the big free throws down the stretch.”
In the second half, Argyle (29-8) relied on senior Clarke Overlander.
Overlander, a North Texas signee, went 6-for-6 from the field to finish with 13 points and grabbed six rebounds with Mean Green head coach Johnny Jones in attendance.
He led the Eagles in second-half scoring with six points along with defending Lovejoy’s top scorer, Joseph Gonzales for much of the night.
Gonzales, a senior post, finished the night with a game-high 19 points but was held to just five points in the second half.
“I guard anyone I’m told to guard,” Overlander said. “From the point guard to the [post], I’ll guard anybody.”
The game was a bit of redemption for Overlander, on both ends of the floor. In the first two meetings, the senior leader was held to three and five points, respectively. And Gonzales hurt the Eagles both times.
That wasn’t the case on Tuesday.
“Coach was worried about it because last two games I’ve guarded him and he wore me out,” Overlander said. “We were prepared tonight. We’re probably in the best shape we’ve been in all season. Our help defense was huge tonight too. We just really came together as a team.”
Now, the Eagles hope their team can continue on at least one round deeper than their season ended a year ago with a trip to the state tournament in Austin.
“Give Lovejoy a lot of credit,” King said. “The last two years they could’ve easily been the team sitting in Commerce. But at the same time give our kids a lot of credit because they’re the ones that are sitting here the last two years.”