All Saints coach Eddie Francis calls Bishop Gorman leading scorer Ben Ashworth the head of the snake.
On Friday night, Trojans senior Ruben DeLong cut off the head — and the body suffered.
DeLong and All Saints held Ashworth, averaging 21 points coming into the game, without a field goal as the Trojans earned a hard-fought 42-27 victory over the Crusaders at a rowdy Bruce G. Brookshire Family Student Athletic Center.
Ashworth scored two points on 0-for-18 shooting, though he did have assists on three of Gorman’s seven field goals.
“We call him the head of the snake; we thought if we could take him away from them, it’d really hurt them,” Francis said. “I know we wouldn’t have this success every night — he’s a good player.”
Jaired Maddox scored 16 points and Brice Borgeson added nine points, 11 rebounds and a couple assists for the Trojans (21-11, 3-4), who created a potential logjam among the Tyler TAPPS 2-4A schools at three wins.
The Crusaders (13-14, 2-5) can complete that logjam with a win over last-place Waco Reicher on Tuesday, the final game of the regular season. All Saints finishes at third-place Dallas Parish Episcopal while Grace Community finished the regular season Friday night at 3-5 with a loss to Dallas Christian.
Although DeLong — one of three seniors honored on Senior Night along with Collin Walker and Trevor Long —only scored one point, his defense on Ashworth was vital.
“He’s a scrappy kid and he really has been one of the hearts and souls of our team,” Francis said of DeLong. “He asked for the challenge, he got it, he accepted it. He’s a great kid and he did a great job on Ben.
“Our whole focus was to keep Ben out of the paint. He’s such a dynamic kid. Ruben gets a lot of the credit but our help-side defense was the best it’s been all year.”
Sean Goforth led Gorman with 10 points, but fouled out with 15 seconds left in the third quarter during a pivotal sequence. Borgeson collected a pass from Aston Francis and made a basket despite contact from Goforth, who was also tagged with a technical foul, giving him five personal fouls. Borgeson made all three free throws to put All Saints up 35-21 heading into the final period.
Brandon Lackner had eight points, 14 rebounds and five steals for the Crusaders, who shot 7 percent in the second half and 14 percent for the game.
In the girls game, the Lady Crusaders coasted to a 72-10 victory thanks to 25 points, five rebounds and four assists from Michelle Obach.
Brooke Lee added 15 points, Danielle Smith scored 13 and Susannah Williams tallied nine points and 15 rebounds for Gorman (26-3, 7-0), which shot 52 percent from the field.
Sarah Smith led the Lady Trojans (3-20, 1-6) with six points and six rebounds while Sarah Bracken grabbed a team-high seven boards.
The win was Gorman’s 43rd straight in district play. The Lady Crusaders will go for No. 44 and a third straight undefeated run through TAPPS 2-4A on Tuesday at Waco Reicher.
TAPPS 2-4A Girls
Bishop Gorman 72, All Saints 10
Gorman 25 17 16 14 — 72
All Saints 2 6 2 0 — 10
GORMAN — Brooke Lee, 15; Allie Buzbee, 3; Michelle Obach, 25; Mandie VanderVorste, 2; Susannah Williams, 9; Danielle Smith, 13; Courtney Fergerson, 2; Colleen Allare, 3. FG: 32-62. FT: 2-6.
ALL SAINTS — Sarah Smith, 6; Gabby Bosworth, 2; Sydney Barrett, 2. FG: 5-37. FT: 0-4.
THREE POINT GOALS — BG (5-14): Lee (3), Buzbee, Smith. AS (0-2): none.
RECORDS — Gorman 26-3 (7-0); All Saints 3-20 (1-6).
NEXT UP — Gorman at Waco Reicher, 6 p.m. Tuesday; All Saints at Dallas Parish Episcopal, 6 p.m. Tuesday.
TAPPS 2-4A Boys
All Saints 42, Bishop Gorman 27
Gorman 5 10 6 6 — 27
All Saints 10 13 12 7 — 42
GORMAN — Mitchell Rainey, 3; Sean Goforth, 10; Chris Danly, 2; Max McKinley, 2; Brandon Lackner, 8; Ben Ashworth, 2. FG: 7-49. FT: 11-26.
ALL SAINTS — Trevor Long, 3; Aston Francis, 3; Ruben DeLong, 1; Luke Lee, 2; Spencer Ball, 8; Jaired Maddox, 16; Brice Borgeson, 9. FG: 15-45. FT: 8-19.
THREE POINT GOALS — BG (2-21): Rainey, Goforth. AS (4-13): Long, Francis, Maddox (2).
RECORDS — Gorman 13-14 (2-5); All Saints 21-11 (3-4).
NEXT UP — Gorman at Waco Reicher, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday; All Saints at Dallas Parish Episcopal, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.