Boys’ basketball to begin season

Team to participate in first tournament Friday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. at Mansfield Legacy


AJ Jackson

The varsity boys’ basketball team will complete in a tournament Friday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. at Mansfield Legacy.

The varsity boys’ basketball team will compete in its first tournament of the season this Friday, Nov. 12  at 7 p.m. at Mansfield Legacy to kick off the season. The team faces Waxahachie following its first preseason scrimmage on Tuesday against Lakeland, Lake Dallas and Prosper Rockhill.

“Waxahachie is a big-time school,” boys’ basketball head coach Mario Martin said. “They’ve been to the regional tournament the last couple of years, and it’s a good litmus test and marker for what we’re trying to do right now. This will tell us a lot about ourselves.”

Tryouts for the season were two weeks ago where players showed off their skills to the coaches. There were a total of roughly 85 to 90 kids who tried out this year, but only a few kids were officially welcomed onto the team.

“Well, it’s been kind of funny to watch,” senior and team leader Sterling Curtis said. “A lot of them were scared and nervous at the beginning. Now, a lot of them are starting to get some confidence and they’re starting to find their place and play a lot better.”

The team practices every day after school from 2:30 to 6 p.m. Usually, the team starts off practicing drills, and toward the end of practice, the boys hit the weight room and practice lifting.

“An average day of practice is us trying to motivate these players to play as hard as we can get them to play,” Martin said. “We want practices to be up-tempo.”

The team plays 20 regular-season games and three tournaments, most of them on Tuesdays and Fridays. The number of games played in a tournament varies based on the team’s performance level. There are usually three to five games in a tournament, so the team plays anywhere from 30 to 36 games in the regular season.

“I love the creativity and the competition of basketball,” senior and team player James Hutton said. “I am motivated by my will to want to be the best I can be so I can be better for my family.”

The team has its final regular-season game on Tuesday, Feb. 8.

“I tell people all the time, ‘basketball is just high-level problem solving with your movement,’ so you have to be able to solve problems,” Martin said. “We want to give them as many new problems in practice as we can to see if we can think on our feet. So when we get in a game and are faced with a situation we haven’t previously seen, we have a more cognitive ability to solve chaos.”