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Deer pound Bulldogs as win streak continues (w/Gallery)

Written by Adrian Romero. Posted in Sports

focus basketballIN SPORTS
The Deer basketball team notched their 20th win of the 2017-18 campaign with a dominant 73-46 victory over La Porte. Despite winning their 17th straight game, the Deer are focused on improving each night.

DPbballvsLPTristan Ikpe drives to the basket in Deer Park's blowout win over archrival La Porte Tuesday night. Click the image for a great gallery of the action from Deer Park Photos! Photo by Andrew Pressley.The Deer Park boys basketball team dominated La Porte Tuesday night with a 73-46 victory. The win also grows the team’s winning streak to 17 games, giving the Deer a 20-4 (4-0) record.

Head Coach Darren Chandler, said that the winning streak is not really a focus for his team.

"We don't really talk about it that much, honestly. Every district game, every district win has the same weight and we're so early in the district season we're just trying to win every game we can because eventually there will be nights where things don't go our way and eventually the streak will end. We don't want it to, but it eventually will. We just try and go 1-0 each game and stack wins when we can," Chandler said.

Both teams came out hot as they played in front of, and for, their respective communities. Watkins Gym was filled with maroon and gold and Orange and white as fans turned out in support of the rival teams.

"It's awesome every time we play La Porte. there's a lot of support from both sides, a lot of trash talk and it's good to get the ‘W’ at the end of all of it," said senior captain Guard Zachary Walker.

Both the Deer and the Bulldogs played hard and fast, which proved to be the recipe for a tight first quarter. Deer Park barely managed to gain a lead and hold on to it, going ahead 13-10 going into the second quarter.

Deer Park took control of the game during the second quarter, behind big plays by senior forward Tristan Ikpe, who led all scorers with 25 points, 12 total rebounds, 6 assists.

Despite their efforts, La Porte could not find an answer for Ikpe in this quarter as Ikpe found his way to the basket and put the ball in the hands of other scorers.

"He's unbelievable. (Ikpe is an) incredible player who had another great game tonight and is just fun to watch," said Chandler.

A late burst of scoring by La Porte cut into the Deer lead, putting the halftime score at 33-26

The Bulldogs tried to make a run at the Deer again, but physical play sent the Deer to the free throw line. Deer Park capitalized and seized momentum on their ensuing offensive drives to get their lead back to double digits.

Deer Park thwarted La Porte’s final comeback attempt in the fourth quarter with dominant defense and taking advantage of free throw and turnover opportunities. The Deer opened the lead to 20 points and never looked back.

The Deer shot 50 percent from the court (26-52) and hit 16 of 21 free throw attempts. As a team, the Deer also had 41 rebounds, 29 of which ended Bulldog possessions.

Chandler credits his team's success over the winning streak to hard play and balance. Eight players who saw action scored for the Deer. Parham had 14 points and five rebounds while Walker added 11 points and eight boards. Terry Anderson had seven rebounds.

"We are a really balanced team. All of our guys really step up and even Garrett (Pineault) who just got in the starting lineup made some key threes to help us out. I could go on about what makes each of our players great but the bottom line is we're just balanced and it’s tough to guard us because of this,” he said. “I talk to our guys about keeping our pace throughout the game and if I don't feel like we're at the pace we need to be I let them know and they get back to the level I want them to be.”On the girls' side, the Lady Deer basketball team won a 38-37 thriller on the road at La Porte.

Deer Park was led by Enriqua Bellow's 18-point, 7-rebound performance. Mkayla Bush added 8 points and four boards while Darcie Culp had six rebounds on the night.

The Lady Deer held La Porte to 21 percent(9-41) shooting and outrebounded the Lady Bulldogs 31-20.

Next up for both teams are district games against Dobie.

The boys are on the road while the Lady Deer play at home. Both games are scheduled for 7 p.m.