North Crowley defense shuts down Arl. Bowie

ARLINGTON, Texas – In its previous two playoff games, North Crowley had held its opponents to no more than 36 points.

That trend continued Monday in North Crowley’s 64-33 rout of Arlington Bowie (16-17) in the regional quarterfinals at Arlington Martin.

North Crowley (31-4) opened the game on a quick 6-2 run, which would turn into a 22-6 run throughout the first quarter.

North Crowley’s strong press in the second quarter created turnovers that gave senior guard Braxton Reeves a chance to shine from behind the arc, hitting three 3-pointers in a span of two minutes in the second quarter.

All of Reeves' 12 points came from behind the arc.

North Crowley’s coach Tommy Brakel said they changed their defensive style right before the playoffs, allowing them to keep full-court pressure, but have the opportunity to pull back into a half-court defense to defend against easy, fastbreak points.

“It’s creating extra possessions on the offensive ends and it’s letting them shoot for a higher percentage on the back end,” Brakel said.

Leading the charge for North Crowley was senior guard Calvin Ward with 17 points and nine rebounds.

“I was as proud of him as everyone because he went out and competed,” Brakel said. “There was one offensive rebound he grabbed behind his head and put it back. That’s the kind of energy you have to have in a game like this and once you get that energy from a player, it gets so contagious.”

North Crowley advances to the regional tournament at Fort Worth’s Wilkerson-Grines Activity Center to play the winner of the Flower Mound Marcus and Mansfield Timberview regional quarterfinal.

Marcus knocked North Crowley out of the playoffs last season in a 49-43 win in route to a 5A state championship.

“You line up and compete once you get in the playoffs and hope you get back,” Brakel said. “It’s going to be loaded again in the regional tournament.”