Elks’ Martin enjoys first win over CHS
It didn’t take long for first-year Burleson boys basketball coach Joy Martin to fully immerse himself in the Elks rivalry with Centennial.
After Jaylen Johnson’s lay-up off a steal by Joe Lutka gave the Elks a 73-58 lead with 5:36 to play and led to a Centennial timeout, Martin ran out and nearly knocked Lutka to the court with a flying chest bump.
Lutka, who had been the target of Martin’s ire earlier in the game for his lack of defense, said the move caught him by surprise.
“I love these guys but my expectations for them are really high, so I’m on them really hard and when they do something really well I’m their biggest fan,” Martin said. “I know he’s a really good player, but if I see as small weakness, I’ll give him a hard time about it so he’ll correct it.”
Centennial couldn’t put together a rally after the timeout and the Elks went on to a 79-69 District 9-5A win at Burleson Tuesday night.
“I was into the game like they were,” Martin said. “I want to win just as bad as they want to win. These guys put in their time and effort in practice, so when they do something well I want to reward them. I told them in the locker room that I’m very selfish. I want to win and I want to win by a lot of points because you guys deserve that, so that’s selfish in a good way and not a bad way.”
With the win, Burleson (13-6) moved to 3-1 in district play. The Elks play at Cleburne Friday and host Arlington Seguin Tuesday night. Centennial (10-8, 2-2) hosts Granbury Friday and plays at Joshua Tuesday night.
With the Elks holding a slim 60-55 lead after three quarters of play, Burleson senior guard Jaylen Joshson made a suggestion that swung the game for Burleson.
“Jaylen made an adjustment for me,” Martin said. “We were back in man defense and they were getting to the rim and scoring. He said ‘coach let’s go back into our half-court trap’ and I said I thought that sounded like a good idea. I give credit to Jaylen Johnson for that coaching call.”
Just as the Spartans had closed to within 60-58 with 7:17 left to play, the half-court trap took its toil.
First, the Elks’ Sam Martin hit the last of his four three-pointers and added another basket for a 65-58 lead. Then Dalton Lane added two points and Johnson scored four points, the last two off Lutka’s steal.
In the span of 1:41, Burleson had reeled off 13 unanswered points to take a commanding 15-point lead. During that time, Centennial turned the ball over four times.
Johnson, who finished with 21 points, said his suggestion came because he felt trying to slow the game down was hurting his team.
“I asked coach if we could stay in our press because we are more active and moving when we are in that defense,” Johnson said.
Martin scored 18 of his game-high 26 points in the second half. Josiah Sneed finished with 12 points for the Elks and Dalton Lane added 10 points.
Centennial’s Anthony Hunter had a big night for the Spartans scoring 22 points.
K.J. Walker added 12 points and Zach Bolf chipped in 11 points.
“Burleson is a good basketball team and they did a great job scoring,” Centennial coach Jeff Carroll said. “This game is always going to be difficult and you have to make sure that you defend and rebound. We have to do a better job of that to give ourselves an opportunity to win.”