WAXAHACHIE — Defense paved the way for the LaPoynor Flyers in a 46-37 victory over the Poolville Monarchs in a Class A area round playoff game Friday night at Waxahachie High School’s Solis Gymnasium.

LaPoynor (27-3) simply made life miserable and shots hard to come with its half-court defense. Poolville (17-11) managed to connect just 10 times from the floor in the game and only four times in the opening half, enabling the Flyers to build a 20-12 lead.

Coach Brad Rogers’ Flyers didn’t exactly have one of their better shooting games, but they made up for it defensively. LaPoynor, which was 9 of 24 from the floor in the first half and 17 of 46 for the game, forced 18 Poolville turnovers.

Josh Saunders and Kerry Clark set the defensive tone for LaPoynor in the first half. Saunders had three steals in the opening quarter and Clark had four in the second.

Clark and Saunders also led the LaPoynor scoring, tossing in 13 and 10 points, respectively. Josh Cole and Josh Hancock were key contributors in the second half to help the Flyers put away the Monarchs. They scored nine each.

The Flyers hit just one of their first nine shots and twice trailed briefly. But after Clark nailed a 17-foot jumper with just over a minute left in the opening quarter to give LaPoynor a 9-8, the Flyers never trailed again.

Keyed by a pair of Clark steals, the Flyers went on an 11-1 run to start the second quarter and assumed a 20-9 lead, capped by one of Clark’s two three-pointers in the game. Pool pulled within six, 20-14, at the start of the third quarter, but never any closer.

Kevin Brown was the leading Poolville scorer with a game-high 20 points. He was 8 of 11 from the free throw line. Kyle Berry had nine for the Monarchs.

Unable to penetrate the LaPoynor defense with any semblance off effectiveness, the Monarchs attempted to shoot over the top of the Flyers. But Poolville hit just 4 of 23 three-point attempts.

LaPoynor is scheduled to face Axtell in Region II semifinal action Tuesday at 8 p.m. in Fort Worth. Axtell was a 45-41 winner over Clyde Eula in it’s area game.

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