FORT WORTH, Texas -- Whoever thinks style points are meaningless in high school basketball clearly hasn’t seen Fort Worth Trimble Tech hoop.
The No. 1 4A school in ESPNDallas.com's poll has not only gotten the job done so far in District 6-4A at an undefeated 14-0, but it also finishes with flair.
Tuesday, against Fort Worth Southwest’s full-court press, Trimble Tech had the opportunity to turn the game into a street-ball, trick contest in a 91-74 win.
“With today’s teenager, we give them a carrot, which is allowing them to be a little bit more free on offense as long as they give it to me on defense and rebound and hustle,” Trimble Tech coach Wendell Ivory said.
In the show that Trimble Tech likes to put on, the headlining act is senior guard Charles Hill, who threw down several monstrous dunks to add on to the many acrobatic layups he finished.
The TCU signee's energetic play sparked his team’s offense twice in the second half, once on a huge dunk in the third quarter that resulted in a small run that built up some separation between the teams and again in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach with a string of four baskets in a row.
“When you play a team like Southwest, they’re going to make runs, but you’re going to make runs," Ivory said. "The key is when you make your runs, you have to stay on top of them and limit their runs. But you’re going to get a bunch because they gamble on the defensive end.”
Southwest’s aggressive press created odd-man rushes for Trimble Tech that resulted in several easy baskets and a few alley-oop dunks.
Hill had a game-high 25 points and was joined in the 20-plus point club by teammate Jai Deng, who netted 23.
While normally allowing an opponent to score 74 points in a game would indicate poor defensive play, Ivory said Southwest’s style of high-tempo, transition offense forces a coach to accept the fact that points will be put on the board despite a good effort on the defensive end of the court.
Trimble Tech can clinch the district championship with one more win, giving the school a chance to prove itself and the quality of play Fort Worth has to offer in the playoffs. Defending its city includes protecting the tradition that was created many years before by a Fort Worth Dunbar coaching legend.
“Let’s just be honest: this is the city that Robert Hughes Sr. built," Ivory said. "As long as that legacy is here, we’re going to be OK, basketball wise. There are a lot of good players in the district.”