Peaking at the right time

Currently 5-2 in district, varsity boys’ basketball to next face Coppell on Jan. 24


Sui Cer

Junior Landon Brown dribbles up the court during the Byron Nelson game on Tuesday, Dec. 13.

The varsity boys’ basketball team won 71-60 vs. rival Marcus on Jan. 17, winning four of the last five games after a 61-49 loss to Hebron on Friday, but improving to 18-7 (5-2 in district) on the season. 

“It means a lot because we haven’t won against Marcus in a few years,” junior guard Rakai Crawford said. “But we were going into the game confident we could win this time.”

After a slow start in the first half where they found themselves down eight shooting 3/16 from three, the Farmers were able to pour it on in the second half. They outscored Marcus 29-14 in the third quarter, led by senior guard Adrian Banks’ 12 points to take and sustain the lead. 

“We ran four straight sets in the beginning of the third, and were able to execute on all of them,” head coach Toby Martin said. “Once [Banks] gets in a rhythm, he’s difficult to stop.” 

Although Marcus went on a 12-3 scoring run to end the first half, the boys were not worried, as getting better as the game goes on has been a theme this season. The team averages 13.5 points per game in the first quarter, but 16 PPG in the final three. 

“I preach ‘don’t panic when things don’t go your way,’” Martin said. “We could be down 16 points in the fourth quarter and still feel like we’re fine because we’re confident in [our] shooters and what we do defensively.” 

The team, which went 18-17 last year in Martin’s first season, has already matched their win total 24 games into this season. Banks credits the team’s improvement to better chemistry.

“We got used to Coach Martin this year,” Banks said. “We’ve used all the stuff we learned last year to help us this year. We hold each other more accountable.”

Banks, who won Dallas Morning News’ player of the week for Jan. 15, has played well next to senior point guard Tre’lin Green.

“We’ve just known each other for a long time,” Banks said. “Especially being on varsity freshman year and then moving down to JV, we definitely built a lot of chemistry over the years.” 

Execution in the paint has been an emphasis for Martin as he’s looking ahead to future matchups in Coppell (20-8, 2-4 in district) and Plano East (24-3, 6-1 in district) and that starts with junior center Colby Springs.

“We tried to get Colby the ball early and didn’t have a lot of success,” Martin said. “But in the second half, we went back to that and he got some easy buckets. It’ll start to establish himself as a threat in the paint.” 

The Farmers look to bounce back against Coppell on Tuesday, Jan. 24. The team also looks forward to getting senior guard Jameer Lewis back, who’s out currently with injury, in the game against Plano on Feb. 3. 

“When he gets back we’re looking to have a nine-man rotation,” Martin said. “And now, we’re really putting pressure on teams.”