By Moses Leos III
An emphasis on patience paid off Tuesday as the Hays High Rebels upset the state ranked Lake Travis Cavaliers 49-38 at Bales Gym.
Two Rebels scored in double figures with senior Jerome Scaturro scoring a game-high 15 points. A pair of Cavaliers finished in double figures with Jake Budde scoring 11 points.
With the win, Hays takes sole possession of first place from Lake Travis in the 14-6A standings.
“We felt like, if Akins could beat them, we knew we could beat them,” Scaturro said. “We worked hard the whole game and kept the lead the whole game.”
Hays’ success stemmed from being able to meet Lake Travis’ methodical tempo. Rebel head coach Sam Lunz said evaluating possessions, both on offense and defense, was the theme leading up to Tuesday’s game.
The Rebels executed that theme by staying patient on offense and rotating the ball around the horn.
That mentality allowed the Rebels to hold an 11-6 first quarter lead.
Meanwhile, Hays’ defense harried Cavalier shooters, keeping the pressure and constantly rotating.
Senior Heath Agnew said understanding who the team’s shooters and drivers were helped limit Lake Travis’ scoring capability.
“It was making sure they weren’t getting open shots, and making them drive to the hole,” Agnew said. “Making them take contested stuff, not letting them move the ball around and get open looks.”
Early turnover woes from the Cavaliers also played a role in Hays’ success. Both factors helped Hays expand its lead to 26-15 at intermission, highlighted by a buzzer beating three-pointer from Agnew.
But the Cavaliers responded with three pointers from Budde and Christian Seidl, and with an old-fashioned three-point play from Sean Winbush in the third quarter.
Lake Travis cut Hays’ lead to 33-26 before the Rebels slammed on the accelerator to start the fourth quarter.
The Rebels went on a crippling 8-0 run, effectively taking Lake Travis out of contention. A crowd rousing slam-dunk from sophomore Charles Bohannon, along with a three-pointer from Jake Krafka highlighted the run.
“Through that, we fed off the energy the rest of the game,” Scaturro said.
With first place in their grasp, a target is now firmly on the back of the Rebels. It’s something Lunz said the team enjoys. But he maintains the second round of district will be a challenge.
“We’ll keep taking things one game at a time,” Lunz said. “Everyone is coming to play us. We have to win all of the games we can.”