HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL: Iraan remains undefeated with win over Compass Academy

The Iraan boys basketball team maintained its undefeated start in the early stages of the season after defeating Compass Academy 63-28 Tuesday night in Odessa.

Playing in a nondistrict contest, the Braves moved to 4-0.

Compass Academy is now 0-3.

After a close first quarter, Iraan began to take off in the second quarter and didn’t let up in the second half.

“The boys played well,” Iraan head coach Chance Virdell said. “We fought hard to the end to try and get transition baskets. They did what they were coached to do.”

The Braves were led in scoring by Cole Bowman who had 17 points total while Angel Zapata had 12 and Ethan Barrera had 11.

Compass Academy was led in scoring by Tanner Gahr and Isiah Cisneros who each had six while Liam Gahr had four.

Both teams traded baskets early in the first quarter as the Braves took an 8-4 lead.

However, the Cougars managed to go on a 4-0 run to tie things up.

The Braves responded with a 7-0 run and the visitors’ lead was 15-8 after the first quarter.

Iraan continued its momentum in the second quarter, going on a 5-2 run.

Compass Academy’s Tanner Gahr’s put-back made it 20-12 with under three minutes before the half.

Iraan’s Ethan Barrera’s 3-pointer as the halftime buzzer sounded gave the visitors a 23-16 lead.

That scoring surge would follow the Braves into the second half.

“It was a big momentum shift,” Virdell said. “Just seeing the kids celebrate and everything, it’s always beneficial.”

The Braves began the second half with plenty of momentum as Iraan used a quick 7-0 run to extend their lead before Compass Academy called a timeout with 5:50 left in the third quarter.

Bowman hit a 3-point jumper from the top of the key to give the Braves a 33-16 advantage.

Things would not get any easier for the Cougars in the second half as the scoring drought continued for the hosts past the four-minute mark in the quarter.

A basket by Craig Chance ended the Cougars’ scoring drought with two minutes to go in the quarter.

However, Iraan had an answer in the form of a Cole Bowman 3-pointer to make it 40-18 with 1:41 left in the quarter.

The Braves’ lead was 45-20 heading into the fourth quarter after a 3-pointer by Iraan’s Angel Zapata at the buzzer.

It continued to rain 3-pointers in the fourth quarter as Bowman scored another outside shot and the visitors had a comfortable 55-22 lead with under five minutes to go.

The Braves continued to control the game and would not be denied.

“We just push defense,” Virdell said. “We push our press. We like to get out on transition and run and be disciplined with our press. The most easy baskets we can get, the most beneficial it is for us.”