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Lucky 13: Deer knock off district champs to keep win streak alive (w/Photo Gallery)

Written by Adrian Romero. Posted in Sports

basketballsIN SPORTS
Thirteen proved to be a lucky number for the Deer basketball team. The team notched its 13th consecutive victory with a 54-42 win over defending district champion South Houston to open 22-6A play. Next up for the Deer is a road game at Sam Rayburn Friday at 7 p.m.

ParhamvsSoHoDeer Park's Cade Parham goes under the basket in Tuesday's 54-42 district opening win over South Houston. The win raised Deer Park's record to 16-4 (1-0) and was the team's 13th straight win. Click the image for a gallery of Tuesday's action from Deer Park Photos. Photo by Andrew Pressley/Deer Park Photos.The Deer Park boys basketball team started district play off with a 54-42 victory Tuesday night over defending district champion South Houston at Watkins Gym.

A strong district start means a lot to this team, as it struggled in the early portion of the 22-6A schedule last year.

“It feels pretty good to come back this year and start the season off with a win, when we started out 0-5 last year. (It) shows how we’ve grown as a team and reflects our hard work in practice,” said senior forward Tristan Ikpe, who finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.

Both teams opened the game showcasing the speed of the players. Deer Park settled down and found a nice rhythm to gain the lead early and then continued to add points, establishing dominance over SoHo and ending the quarter 17-5. This solid start for the Deer was a team effort, with players from the bench coming in and adding points as well as maintaining a solid defense.

Head Coach Darren Chandler continued to rotate his team during the second quarter, adding fresh legs as well as keeping hot hands in play. Chandler said the rotation of his team adds to their success, as well as how well his players play together no matter who is playing.

“We’re a pretty balanced team as far as the playing time our guys get, and we count on all of them. Some get more consistent minutes, but they all do something that helps the team and that’s why we’re such a good team,” Chandler said.

The Deer offense continued to put points on the board as well as manage to keep South Houston relatively silent by playing good defense. Deer Park’s utilization of drawing offensive charges while on defense gave them an extra edge over SoHo. The Deer went into halftime with a 30-13 lead over SoHo.

The third quarter opened with SoHo finding success on offense as well as on defense, which allowed them to close the gap a little. The Deer continued to draw offensive charges while on defense which slowed South Houston’s rhythm down.

Deer Park’s offense also found a little life, swinging the ball around successfully and making some shots beyond the arc to push their lead further. SoHo would take advantage of extra opportunities from offensive rebounds late in the quarter to lower the point deficit as well as gain some momentum going into the final quarter.

South Houston managed to use the momentum to their advantage during the beginning of the fourth quarter, but both teams went stagnant as their defenses continued to make plays.

The Deer’s fast-paced offense last naming was led in scoring by senior guard Cade Parham, who finished the night with 18 points.

“We really focus on fast transitions in practice and it puts a lot of pressure on defenses and opens lanes so that helps our offense a lot, so that helps us get those opportunities to score points,” said Parham.