No. 3 Denton Guyer knocks off No. 2 Chaps varsity basketball at Thanksgiving Hoopfest

The premier matchup at the 9th Annual Thanksgiving Hoopfest in Duncanville, Texas, saw No. 3 Denton Guyer deliver a convincing performance over No. 2 Westlake in a 83-72 win.

Defense was the name of the game for Guyer as they held an explosive Westlake offense that has averaged 83 points-per-game this season to just 72 total and 30 in the first half. They also forced 11 turnovers.

“Defense wins games, defense wins championships,” junior De’Vion Harmon said. “It doesn’t matter what happens on the offensive end, if you play defense and you can lock [the other team] up, you’re going to be a great team.”

The Chaps weren’t able to capitalize on momentum gained from their 82-62 win over Katy Tompkins earlier this week, and senior Brock Cunningham cited turnovers and quick shots as the reason why.

“You live and you learn,” he said. “We’ve got a growing team, and we’re still learning even though we’re mostly upperclassmen. This is only something you can learn from. It’s hard to beat a good team twice, and we’ll be better our second time around when we eventually play those guys again.”

Guyer shot 61 percent from the field in the game, and Jalen Wilson and De’Vion showed why they are top-ten players for the class of 2019 in the state according to TexasTop100. Jalen led all scorers with 27 and De’Vion was second with 23.

“We were just in the zone,” De’Vion said. “When we hit shots and we’re getting stops and we’re getting boards, we’re a very hard team to beat. We always talk about ‘kills.’ That’s three possessions, three stops. We get that over and over again, and it came in handy tonight.”

Westlake struggled to contain the pair all game long and weren’t able to get shots to fall themselves. Junior Will Baker led all Westlake scorers with 22, and Brock and classmate Matthew Mayer both had 18. However, all but two of their points came from those three and senior Keonte Kennedy.

Full-court pressure forced a couple turnovers that led to dunks in the fourth quarter for Westlake, but a timeout by Guyer head coach Grant Long to tell his team to continue being aggressive was enough for the Wildcats to pull away with the win.

“It was a six-point game, and we start trapping, and the lead got bigger,” Lucero said. “When you’re playing a guy that’s going to Oklahoma, it’s pretty tough to trap him, and then you’re going after a guy going to Georgetown, so you send two at the guy from Oklahoma, and then you got the guy going to Georgetown by himself, so it’s pretty tough. It’s not elementary school ball, so you have to grind out stops and you have to try and do some things they aren’t prepared for.”

While Brock said the game wasn’t a wake-up call for the Chaps, he described it as showing the entire team, many of which were not there for their playoff run last year, that there are a lot of good teams in the state.

“I think [this game] was something for the whole team to realize that, it wasn’t so much a wake up call, but that we aren’t the only big dogs out there,” Brock said. “Those guys can play, there are a couple other teams in the state that can play, so it’ll open our eyes.”

This wraps up Thanksgiving games for Westlake, and although it ends on a sour note, Lucero says the team will bounce back against Anderson this Tuesday.

“The guys get the day off Sunday at home, so they’ll get some food, practice the next day, and then we have Anderson on Tuesday,” he said. “We’ll try to learn from this and see how we do against Anderson.”