Boys varsity basketball off to a favorable start


Tim Whaling

Warming up, senior Stephen Odunsi shoots baskets before a thursday game against Lehman. The chaps beat Lehman 46-33.

Aro Majumder

The boys varsity basketball team is off to a strong start this season with a 4-2 District record and an 12-7 record overall, putting them in fourth place in District. They were also the consolation champions at the Frenship Tournament and reached the final of the Westlake Holiday Tournament.

“The season’s been going really great,” wing junior Mack Kelley said. “Everyone’s playing together and we’ve done well so far, so I’m really enjoying it.”

The team has had some struggles early in the season, but varsity coach Robert Lucero is content with what he is getting out of his players.

“At times, our level of play has been inconsistent – we haven’t played as well as we could have every game,” Lucero said. “[However], I think as a team they are really trying to defend and guard every possession and [they have good] ball movement offensively. The ball hasn’t been stuck in one person’s hand. We’ve moved it and gotten people shots.”

The team welcomed two freshmen this season, Luke Plyuman and Matthew Mayer, and both have been received warmly.

“They are both good kids and good basketball players and compete every day,” Lucero said. “I think the bigger part is that the older kids have taken care of them. The seniors and juniors have not treated them like freshmen, but have treated them more like younger brothers that they need to take care of.”

The team has meshed well in general, and the locker room feeling has been upbeat.

“Morale’s been really good,” Mack said. “Everyone gets along, and we all joke with each other all the time. I know most of the guys really well and have built some good relationships with them.”

The majority of the District games are yet to come, and the team is holding a one-game-at-a-time mindset.

“We try not to get too far ahead of ourselves – we just worry about the next opponent,” Lucero said. “At this point, if we just take care of our business and win all the games that we are supposed to win, we will be right in there for a playoff spot.”

Lake Travis and Hays have been very strong in District play so far, both having 5-1 records. Although there are some teams that have stood out early in the season, the district is still very competitive.

“This district is pretty evenly balanced,” Lucero said. “Even a team like Akins, [who are last place in District], is very competitive. Everybody in our district knows each other well and everybody is well coached so it makes for a hard district.”

One of the oldest clichès in sports is that “defense wins championships,” and Lucero has turned that clichè into a focus for the team.

“I think defense should always be our focus,” Lucero said. “As long as we defend, even if we aren’t shooting the ball well, we’ll have a chance to win games.”

Their next game will be at 8 p.m. Jan. 13 at Westlake against Anderson.