In sports, when a team plays good defense in a game, there is a strong probability that team members will walk away victorious. To put it more simply, defense travels. The Kaufman varsity boys’ basketball team proved that theory to be true on Feb. 20 when they used their defense to defeat Van by a count of 48-38 in a Class 4A Region II bi-district playoff game at Forney High School.
Overall, Kaufman’s defense was sensational in this playoff game.
The Lions limited the Vandals to just 26.5% shooting from the floor (13-49). The Lions’ smothering defensive effort allowed them to be in control of this playoff game from start to finish.
After the first quarter in this game, Kaufman held a narrow 9-7 lead. But in the second quarter, Kaufman found some offensive rhythm and outscored Van 20-13. So, by half time, Kaufman had built a nine-point advantage at 29-20. Then in the second half, points were hard to come by for either team. The difference maker was Kaufman’s defense. The Lions got some key defensive stops when it mattered most. Overall, the Lions completely shut down an explosive Van team in the second half, and because of that they are moving on in the playoffs.
Head Coach Matt McLaughlin was proud of his team for battling and fighting the entire game to get a hard-fought playoff victory against a solid Van team.
“I am very proud of our guys for fighting for 32 minutes to earn the win against a tough Van team," McLaughlin said. "We didn’t play our best game, but we were solid defensively throughout the game. We are excited that our season will continue into this week, and we look forward to the opportunity to continue to get better.”
Kaufman’s best players played at a high level in the glaring spotlight of playoff basketball. Top performers in this game for the Lions were Vontrell Williams (18 points, six assists, and four rebounds), Derek Clamon (13 points), Daylon Dickerson (11 points, 17 rebounds, and three assists), and LA’Damian Bailey (six points).
With this victory, Kaufman, the District 13-4A Co-Champions, improved to 18-5 overall on the season. The Lions are currently on a seven-game win streak. Van, the fourth-place playoff team out of District 14-4A, saw its season end at 9-13.