Remarkably, there are still only eight states in the country that use a shot clock for high school games. But, boy, can that provide for some interesting theatrics come playoffs time.
Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas, where Allen was taking on the Lone Star State’s top-ranked 6A team, Denton Guyer, in a UIL Region I final, the Eagles deployed some unorthodox tactics to pull off a pretty big upset.
Allen beat Guyer, 40-36, thanks to a bevy of stall tactics. According to the Dallas Morning News’ Greg Riddle, Allen didn’t attempt its first shot of the game until three minutes were left in the first quarter.
When considering the size discrepancy between the two teams, what Allen did makes sense. The Eagles’ best defense was to keep the ball away from Guyer’s best players:
On Saturday, with Allen holding the ball for long stretches before taking a shot, it was tied 5-5 after one quarter. Guyer’s last lead was 8-7 early in the second quarter, but Allen went on a 10-0 run from there to gain control, and the Eagles led 17-11 at halftime and 22-17 after three quarters.
“We had an idea they might do that,” Guyer coach Grant Long said. “I didn’t think they would do that the whole game. We turned the ball over seven times in the first 19 possessions. We just didn’t get the lead like we needed to to pull them out of that.”
Guyer has three players 6-8 or taller, while Allen has no one taller than 6-6. Guyer also has two of the top five recruits in Texas in the Class of 2019 — Jalen Wilson and Oklahoma pledge De’Vion Harmon — to go with Georgetown signee Grayson Carter, a 6-10 senior forward.
“We can’t match up with three 6-8 guys. We can’t match up with one of them. So our philosophy was offense is our best defense today,” Allen coach Jeff McCullough said. “We just decided to change the pace. We’ve lost to them twice trying to run with them, which is usually our calling card.”
Guyer came into the game ranked 11th in USA TODAY’S Super 25. But with the loss, the Wildcats dropped all the way out.