TEXARKANA, Texas — When your mantra states "Fastest 32 Minutes" on your warmups, opponents are going to test your squad.
The Hawks beat the Leopards Tuesday night at the Rader Dome in the district opener after a 23-4 second quarter, 63-29.
"It's great to get a 1-0 start in district," Pleasant Grove head coach Dwight McCowan said. "It's always good to beat your in-town rival. Me personally, I've been 0-6 against this school, so I'm excited to finally get my first win against them on a personal note."
The Hawks' ability to create second shots with their offensive and defensive rebounding gave PG the room to create a double-digit lead on the scoreboard.
PG outrebounded L-E, 14-7, in the first period.
"This is just our sixth game," Liberty-Eylau head coach Dewaski Davis said. "We're still trying to get our game legs under us. We're also missing a few pieces but we have to fight through it. We have to continuously get better. We have a few things we need to fix before our next game and we plan to fix those in practice."
Pleasant Grove was able to expand on their lead over the Leopards witch their post play from Torey Phillips.
Phillips converted two baskets for the Hawks, giving PG a 17-6 with 4:45 left before intermission. Phillips finished the night with a double-double, 17 points and 10 boards, for PG.
T'vondrick Henry gave Pleasant Grove a 16-point edge when he made two consecutive buckets with 3:22 left in the second, 22-6.
Henry finished with a game-high 22 points and eight rebounds for the Hawks.
Pleasant Grove went on a 11-2 run up until the 2:24 mark, after Tahj Stewart knocked down his second of two free throws for the Leopards.
Stewart finished with 10 points and three rebounds for L-E.
Henry had a finish at the basket, over a Leopard defender, which spun a PG run.
Tre Stuart knocked two layups in a row, giving PG a advantage over L-E, 30-7. The Hawks led the Leopards at halftime, 36-9.
"This was great job by our guys to open district the right way," McCowan said. "Hopefully, we'll be able to continue this Friday when we host North Lamar."
Pharell Thurman knocked down two baskets for the Leopards to open the second half, cutting into the L-E deficit.
Thurman finished with eight points for Liberty-Eylau.
The Hawks continued to cut to the basket on the backside for buckets, enough to balloon their lead to 34-points midway through the third quarter, 49-15.
"We're going to understand that moving the basketball and playing stronger defense will get us over the hump," Davis said. "We will execute better offensively,"
Beginning the final quarter with a 30-point cushion, Pleasant Grove was able to run its offense and also give the reserves district action.
PG won the junior varsity game with L-E, 62-41.