TEXARKANA — The Pleasant Grove Hawks boys basketball varsity team handled the Gilmer Buckeyes 87-55 Tuesday night at Hawks Gym.
Torian Phillips led the Hawks with 22 points. Jaylen Boardley provided 16 points for Pleasant Grove. Cohen Cade scored 15 points. Ben Bricker had nine points. Kennon Kelley and Martin Hailey each had eight points.
Hailey explained on the postgame show that the reason for the Hawks’ turnaround after a shaky start to the season is due to their pursuit of excellence.
“We just realized that if we don’t buckle down and really lock in, we’re not going to be successful, and we want to be successful,” Hailey said. “Because a lot of people hated on us, but we’re tired of all the hate. So, we’re going to put it together.”
Pleasant Grove improves to 7-7 on the season with a 2-1 record in district play.
“I thought our kids took a another step tonight as far as trying to put a whole game together,” Coach Craig Collvins said. “Thought we played well defensively at times, and I thought we did some good things in the offensive end. We did a good job of getting the ball inside to Boardley and Torian played a lot better in the second half in both offense and defense.
“Cohen has been a spark for us all year and he’s got a knack for getting his hands on the ball in the press and because of some of that, he was our third leading scorer tonight. Hopefully we can carry this momentum over into the Paris game.”
The Buckeyes fall to 0-3 in district play with a 2-7 record overall.
Caleb Dodd had 17 points for Gilmer. Rohan Fluellen had 15 points. Parker Gillow and Landon Watson each had eight points for the Buckeyes.
Pleasant Grove won the ninth grade boys game 60-21. The junior varsity Hawks also got the win 77-24.
The Hawks take on the Paris Wildcats Friday night. Bob DelGiorno will have the play-by-play on 94.1 FM ESPN Texarkana.