ARLINGTON, TEXAS -- Allen Gratts said he wasn’t sending a message to the starters of his Arlington Bowie boys basketball team when he benched them in the first quarter.
“They just didn’t deserve to be on the floor, they were playing so badly,’’ Gratts explained. “I told them they were going to get one more chance in the second quarter. And when they got back out there, it was like a different team.’’
Bowie, limited to six points in the first quarter, exploded for 27 in the second period and went on to breeze past host Arlington Lamar, 69-52, on Friday night in a matchup of the third- and fourth-place teams in District 4-5A. Coupled with a 57-56 Bowie home court win over Lamar on Jan. 10, the Volunteers completed a sweep of the Vikings.
North Crowley and Arlington Martin are 1-2 in in the 4-5A standings.
Lamar (11-15, 7-4 in 4-5A) still owns a one-game district lead over Bowie (12-18, 6-5) with three regular-season games remaining.
“We showed tonight that we want third place instead of fourth,’’ said Jeremy Senglin, who led Bowie with 16 points, 10 coming in the decisive second quarter.
The Bowie starters were 0-for-6 shooting in the first period and trailed 6-2 when Gratts went to his bench.
The same five made 8-of-18 shots in the second quarter, went 7-for-8 from the free throw line and forced nine Lamar turnovers to build a 33-21 halftime lead.
Lamar reduced the lead to single digits just once in the second half on a follow shot by Robert Sneed that made it 41-32 with three minutes to play in the third period. But Lamar couldn’t sustain its rally.
While Bowie struggled early, junior guard DaQuan Thomas helped the Vikings jump ahead, scoring seven of his team-high 16 points in the first quarter.
Gratts and Lamar coach Zach Burks have taken some lumps with young teams this season. Between the teams, there was only one senior starter on Friday.
Bowie gave North Crowley a tough game in 61-53 defeat on Tuesday and appears to be gaining playoff momentum.
“Our defense has been better the last two games,'' Gratts said. “In the second quarter we looked like a playoff team.’’
GIRLS: Arlington Lamar 52, Arlington Bowie girls 44
Senior guard Jasmine Dubose accounted for six of Lamar’s final eight points, including four free throws in the final 20 seconds, to help the Lady Vikings move into sole possession of second place in District 4-5A with one game remaining.
Lamar improved to 21-12 for the season and 11-2 in 4-5A.
Bowie (26-6, 10-3) was led by Ashley Ferguson’s 17 points.
“I’m excited for our girls,’’ said Lamar coach Erinn Levels. “We went into a game at Bowie in similar position last year and they beat us, so this is payback.’’
Lamar travels to Arlington Martin and Bowie hosts Weatherford to wrap up the regular season Tuesday.