Written by Corbett Smith
Coppell boys basketball catch playoff lighting, upset Trinity in first round, 47-43
SOUTHLAKE -- Coppell felt the playoff pressure before.
Having to beat Flower Mound in its regular-season finale and a play-in game to get the fourth seed out of District 5-5A, Coppell did so, squeaking out two one-point wins.
Down the stretch against 6-5A champion Euless Trinity, those experiences paid dividends.
Coppell played with composure in the game’s closing minutes, with forward Brandon Watson going 6-for-6 from the free-throw line in the final 40 seconds as Coppell upset Trinity, 47-43.
“We’ve been playing on Tuesdays and Fridays a month,” Coppell coach Kit Pehl said. “The opportunity to do that although I wouldn’t have wished in on ourselves I think we are in rhythm.”
For a moment, it looked as though the game would get away from Coppell (22-12). Two thunderous dunks late in the third quarter by center Myles Turner gave Trinity (24-7) a 31-25 lead.
“From that point there, we rallied together and finished strong, which is what we’ve done the past two games,” Coppell guard Landon Goesling said.
Pehl echoed that sentiment, using the word “resilient” three times in a five-second span to describe his team.
“All year long, our defense will manage to keep us in games,” Pehl said. “They went on a couple of runs where they looked really good but then we stuffed them.”
With Trinity trailing by three with 5.8 seconds left, Turner made the first free throw in a one-and-one situation. But he never attempted his second shot. Trinity’s Jalen Jackson was called for a lane violation, falling into the lane after jockeying for position with Coppell’s Simi Socks.
The made free throw was the only point for Turner in the fourth quarter, as he finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and six blocks.