With the high school basketball season entering district play, Colleyville Covenant Christian and Grapevine Faith find themselves ranked in the top 10 in the state on the boys side, and both schools could make a serious run in the TAPPS playoffs if things hold up.
The Covenant boys were ranked fifth among among 4A schools according to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches as of Dec. 5, and coach Steve Turner said what looked like it might be a rebuilding season has seen his players pick up right where they left off in 2015-2016.
“I’m definitely proud of the way our team has played in most of our games this season,” Turner said. “We lost six of our top eight players from last year’s Final Four team to graduation, and we’ve only had our two returning starters for three games so far. Our guys have made a good transition from JV to varsity play.
“We’ve played hard and competed well as a team. I’m looking forward to seeing how we continue to develop and come together, especially now that we have our football players full time.”
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The Cougars’ only two returning starters from last year’s team are Turner’s sons, Josh and Daniel Turner, but added that his younger players have done an excellent job of getting ready for varsity competition.
“For seven of our 10 games this season, not one player in our varsity book was in our varsity team photo from last year,” Turner said. “That shows the varsity inexperience these guys have. They’ve worked hard through our middle school and JV programs to get themselves ready to compete at the varsity level.”
Covenant has had several players contributing so far, including Daniel Turner (junior guard): 26 PPG, 6 RPG, 3 APG, 3.3 SPG (through three games), Josh Turner (senior guard): 14.3 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 5.3 APG, 2 SPG (through three games), Jordan Millspaugh (junior forward): 14 PPG, 6 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.5 SPG (10 games), Bob Britton (senior guard): 11 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 3.3 APG, 2.4 SPG (10 games), Jakob Langston (junior forward): 9.5 PPG, 5 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.3 SPG (10 games) and Merrick McHenry (sophomore forward): 6.8 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1 SPG (nine games).
Over at Faith, the Lions were ranked 10th among 5A schools as of Dec. 5 by the TABC, and coach Matt Sayman said he attributes Faith’s early on in large part to the team chemistry his players have built.
“We have a unique mix of experienced leaders and talented young players on this team,” Sayman said. “I’ve been pleased with how far along they are in the system at this point. Most importantly, they care about each other and enjoy spending time together.”
Sayman said he has also had a number of players step up this season for the Lions.
“I’ve been very pleased by our senior leadership,” Sayman said. “Bo Williams and Mike Modisett, who hit the 1000 point mark during Thanksgiving. Keith Church has been a double-double machine lately and Quinn Sawai is one of best defenders. They have been consistent in running the system from day to day. This is an exciting team to watch.”
Sayman said this bodes well for district competition.
“We’ve played a good mix of public schools and private schools so far in pre-district,” Sayman said. “District 1-5A is going to be very competitive, and I believe our players will be tough and battle tested.”