The Commerce High School Tiger boys basketball team bounced back from a season-opening loss on Friday to snag a 65-35 victory over the 4A Athens Hornets in the first home game of the season Tuesday afternoon.
The win is the first at Commerce for Head Coach Roger Brown without his son Dodge Brown on the roster. Dodge was a two-time All-State Selection, was named Texas 3A Player of the Year last season and finished his four-year period with the Tigers with 2,349 career points and 364 three-pointers. Dodge was in attendance at Tuesday's game to cheer his former team on.
But Roger's younger son Sammy, now a senior, took his turn to light up the scoreboard during the game against Athens.
Tuesday's win also came following a 53-47 loss to 4A Canton last Friday in the first game of the season.
The Tigers jumped out to an early 10-2 lead in the contest, with Brown sinking a three-pointer to start. The Hornets then mounted a rally, bringing the score to 11-8 late in the quarter. But Commerce stabilized and ended the frame with a 15-8 advantage.
The Tigers extended their lead in the second quarter thanks in part to a 7-0 run to begin the frame. They used strong defense to limit Athens to just six points. As teams broke for halftime, Commerce was up 31-14.
The Tigers were caught on the back foot as the second half began as the Hornets drained a few buckets in a row to come to within 10 points of the lead. But any notion of a comeback was soundly squashed at Commerce returned to form and extended their lead once again. The score was 49-24 in favor of the Tigers with one quarter remaining.
Again, Athens started out strong and clawed some of the deficit back, but it was not near enough as Commerce cruised to the 65-35 win, having never trailed the entire game.
Brown was the team's leading scorer by far as he was the only Tiger to finish in double figures. He finished with 22 points on nine-of-12 shooting, while also grabbing four rebounds and being credited with an assist. Both Jacorey Foster and Brad Caldwell finished with nine points off of the bench. Foster added five rebounds and an assist while Caldwell had six boards and one assist.
Charlie Walker finished with four points, three rebounds and four assists. J'Den Wilson added six point and a rebound to four dishes. Myles Boyd put six on the scoreboard while also snagging a team-high nine boards while Kendall Carter added two points and five rebounds. Jamar Guster finished with three points, five rebounds and three assists.
Justin Holt and Evan Humphries had two points each, with Humphries adding two boards.
As a team, Commerce shot a pedestrian 39 percent, in large part to going just four-of-17 from three point range.
Head Coach Roger Brown said it was a good feeling to get the team's first win at home.
"It feels really good to get this win," Brown said. "But we have some tough home games coming up against Paris and Crandall where we will be the underdog, so we need to step it up still."
Brown added that he thinks this squad will turn out to be a balanced team, with players sharing much of the load.
The win moves the Tigers to 1-1 on the young season. Commerce's next game will be against Paris at home on Nov. 30. First tip is scheduled for 4:15 p.m.