Mansfield Timberview has rolled to a 19-1 record, top-five state ranking and last week won the Fort Worth ISD/Coca-Cola Classic championship at Wilkerson-Greines Activities Center.
Wolves coach Duane Gregory has a simple explanation for this success.
"Chemistry. The guys are playing well together, they're being patient, they're moving the ball," Gregory said. "Guys are willing to make the extra pass and not taking the first good look they get, but the better one that comes later."
Timberview, 2-0 in District 7-5A, is prepping to run a gauntlet that includes league games against No. 1 DeSoto on Friday, No. 2 South Grand Prairie on Tuesday, followed by a very strong Cedar Hill team on Jan. 11.
"[District] 7-5A is just going to be a grind, it's going to be a battle each and every night," Gregory said. "When you got DeSoto, SGP and Cedar Hill back-to-back-to-back, I can't imagine a much harder stretch for any team in their district."
Junior guard Alex Robinson, who was selected Coca-Cola Classic MVP after netting 26 points in the title game, says bring them on.
"I think that's another reason we've been so successful; we're not afraid of teams that they say are supposed to be this or that in the country," Robinson said. "We're the hungry ones, we don't have anything to lose -- they have something to lose. We're looking forward to these big games."
Timberview and DeSoto tip off at 7:30 p.m. Friday on the Wolves' home court.
With the holiday tournaments behind them, teams across the state are settling in for district title runs, rivalry dogfights and postseason berths.
New Year's provided a brief respite for teams before they resume league play on Friday.
Perennial power North Crowley is a perfect example. The Panthers (15-6, 2-0 in District 3-5A) are coming off a sixth-place finish after a pair of last-second losses in the Whataburger Tournament and will put their 74-game district win streak, which dates to the 2006-07 season, on the line.
"We're going back and really enjoying the extra practice time," North Crowley coach Tommy Brakel said. "You get to where you play so many games during the tournament portion of your season that it's good to get multiple back-to-back practices days in a row."
North Crowley faces its two biggest challengers for 3-5A supremacy in a home game against Arlington Bowie on Friday before traveling to Arlington Martin on Tuesday.
Filling it up
Southlake Carroll hit the century mark in a 106-51 rout of Fort Worth Southwest last week in the first round of the Byron Nelson Tournament.
It was a balanced effort that saw 10 Dragons score six or more points led by Brett Jolly and Cooper Westland, who each finished with a game-high 12 points.
Surprisingly, 106 points is not a season best as Carroll put up 120 in the season opener against Carrollton Turner.
Jarret Johnson, 817-390-7760
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