Victoria West’s first-year boy’s basketball coach Cody McDonald takes inspiration from former University of Texas coach Shaka Smart, who currently coaches Marquette.
McDonald sees the way Smart’s programs have updated the full-court press for the new analytical age, such as charting deflections in addition to turnovers. He wants his team to play with a similar intensity.
West put that intensity on display Saturday in a 61-39 non-district home win over Beeville, where the Warriors forced the Trojans into 34 turnovers.
The Warriors (2-0) forced 14 turnovers in the first half to take a 28-16 lead at the break.
“I think our effort and our intensity level were what we wanted,” McDonald said. “About four minutes in the game we had to call timeout to get ourselves focused, but that’s the effort and intensity level we wanted to play with.”
Following West’s timeout with the game tied 6-6 in the first quarter, the Warriors went on an 11-2 run to take a 17-8 lead behind five points from junior guard D’andre Fillmore and baskets by Jadyn Smith, Dion Green and Darrion King.
Fillmore went on to finish with a team-high 24 points, which followed a 21-point performance in West’s season-opening win over San Antonio Southwest on Tuesday.
“It was our team. They really pushed me,” Fillmore said. “They told me I had to score, so I was just scoring.”
In the fourth quarter, West’s Zo Morgan had seven points, all of which were a product of turnovers he forced.
“It’s a big boost, especially knowing the team trusts me to be able to lead and score those points,” Morgan said.
The Warriors shot 39% from the field in Saturday’s win, including three 3-pointers, and had seven players register points. Fillmore made two of West’s three from behind the arc.
McDonald feels that shows the depth West has on offense.
“We have a group that doesn’t care who scores and they realize there’s eight or nine guys that can lead us in scoring,” McDonald said. “Fillmore has done a really good job stepping up and being the one to do that these first couple of games.”
West’s defense was able to limit Beeville to 25.8% shooting from the floor on 50 attempts, and 6 of 20 from 3-point range.
Beeville coach Mark Belford attributed the Trojans’ struggles to the speed of West’s defense.
“What our guys need to do a better job of is slowing down,” Belford said. “Any time they see pressure, they want to play at 100 miles an hour because the press is going 100 miles an hour. We just have to slow down.”
Beeville was able to pull in 13 offensive rebounds, which led to success on second and third chances for the Trojans.
“For the first time in a long time we’re a little bigger than what we were in the past,” Belford said. “I think we have guys that have high energy that are really learning how to play the game.”
Victoria West 61, Beeville 39
Points: (W) D’andre Fillmore 24, Jadyn Smith 11, Dion Green 9, Zo Morgan 9, Darrion King 5, Luke Parker 1; (B) Lazz Garcia 9, Josean Dembo 7, Ryley Roschetzky 5, Jaden Randle 4, Spencer Ford 4, Angel Alba 3, Jeryn Cano 2, Caleb Washington 2.
Halftime: West 28-16. 3-pointers: (W) Fillmore 2, Morgan; (B) Garcia 3, Roschetzky, Alba. Records: West 2-0, Beeville 1-2.