A sign in the corner of the Doris Miller YMCA gymnasium, home to the Rapoport Ravens, clarifies the rules: No food. No soft drinks. No gum.
The sign doesn’t say anything specifically about no butter – which Bosqueville supplied in heaping fashion, as the Bulldogs are on a roll.
Behind its preternaturally poised freshman Tyler Webb, Bosqueville maintained its perfect record in District 17-2A play with a 61-45 win over the homestanding Ravens on Tuesday night. Webb, one of the top scorers in Central Texas, popped off for 27 points as the Bulldogs improved to 15-3 overall on the season and 8-0 in district play.
Webb, a 6-foot-3 guard, played with a maturity and strength beyond his years. He angled all over the court and helped his team in a variety of ways, stuffing the stat sheet to the tune of 14 rebounds, four assists, three steals and a blocked shot.
“I’ve never seen a student-athlete like Tyler Webb,” Bosqueville coach Tyler Holcomb said. “He’s special, not only on the court, but in the classroom. He’s kind of the nucleus to our team, and it’s very rare that you have a freshman step in and play the type of minutes he plays for us. I think he’s averaging somewhere around 25 (points) a game, so he’s definitely special. But he’s one of the most unique young men I’ve ever been around.”
Despite its place near the bottom of the district standings, Rapoport (4-23, 1-7) carries a proud basketball tradition, as evidenced by several large banners adorning the walls highlighting recent district championships. And if Bosqueville came tapping at the Ravens’ door expecting a blowout from the start, Rapoport had other ideas.
The Ravens played with plenty of energy throughout, and actually stayed within single digits of the district-leading Bulldogs for much of the first half. Corey Lee, a wind-up waterbug of a guard, gave Rapoport a spark, and his wild scoop in traffic in the lane midway through the second quarter brought the score to 25-20, Bosqueville.
But Webb dropped in a putback the next trip down the court, and Bosqueville’s well-executed attack began to wear down Rapoport. The Bulldogs displayed a crisp outside shooting touch, and closed the half on a 14-5 run. Jacob Jean banged in a corner trey off a baseline feed from Webb, and Webb swished in a long jumper with a foot just inside the line.
Holcomb knows when his team is tossing bulls-eyes from distance, it’s a tough team to beat.
“I feel like it is (a strength). We have a lot of really good players on our team,” Holcomb said. “We’re missing a few tonight just due to grades, but I feel like we’ve got a really good group. Dalton Zander is a senior, Jacob Jean is a senior, so these guys have been there and seen it and kind of laid that foundation for these younger guys, kind of showed them the ropes. We’re playing OK right now, but we’ve got a lot to work on.”
One area that looked pretty well-polished was the inbounds play. Bosqueville scored several times while passing in under its own bucket, including twice in the third quarter, when Webb flashed to the hoop for an alley-oop layup, and later when he slipped past his man on a backdoor cut.
Bosqueville pushed the lead to 52-32 by the end of the third quarter, and Rapoport didn’t have enough firepower to rally. However, the Ravens kept playing hard, led by sophomore forward Jayson Ross, who crashed the glass with abandon all night and converted several and-one opportunities. Ross finished with a team-leading 17 points.
Jean scored 12 for Bosqueville, all in the first half.
Bosqueville now owns a three-game lead over its closest challengers in district play with six games left to play, as Rosebud-Lott, Crawford and Moody are all tied for second at 5-3. Of course, the most challenging, ACT-level tests loom much farther down the road, come playoff time.
“I feel like we’ve got as good a shot as anyone else does,” Holcomb said. “Our region, Region III, it’s a juggernaut of a region. You’ve got Grapeland, you’ve got Tenaha, you’ve got Big Sandy, you’ve got all these teams that are standing in your way. But any team can beat any team any given night. … When we get to that point, we’ll strap them up and play whoever comes out on the floor.”