The Times-Register

January 13, 2014

Biggest storylines in basketball district competition

The Lonnquist Notes We’re kicking off the best part of basketball seasons by looking at the biggest stories and games to watch.

January and February is really the best time of the year for the high school basketball season. There’s no question that the non-district season in November and December have its share of great matchups and demonstrates the growth of some teams.

But when it comes to district games, there’s nothing like walking into a gym and seeing the intensity rise to a different level. No matter if it’s the district favorite playing at the weakest district opponent, anything can happen.

So as we go through these next six weeks of the boys and girls district season, let’s give you the storylines that should play out.

Northwest, Keller and Richland to battle for 4-5A

Right now, the Texans, Indians and Rebels have asserted themselves at the top of the standings. These are three solid teams and should make for six fantastic head-to-head matchups. The first one was Tuesday when Richland played at Northwest.

Usually, these teams have solid leaders. Richland’s Tim Priller is this team’s player to watch. He’s usually in double figures. Northwest features veteran point guard Josh Tatum and Aledo transfer Taylor Johnson. Both can handle the ball and score. Keller’s Nolan Taylor is also one of the top players for the Indians.

Without question, these three will make the playoffs. The question will be who can steal one on the road at the other’s place to put itself in position to win the district championship.

More importantly, the district has to find a way to do some damage in the playoffs. All four district playoff teams went out in the bi-district round last year.

Can the Carroll girls go undefeated?

The Lady Dragons won a knockdown grinding game with Keller last Friday. That put Teri Morrison’s team in a good position to go 7-0 when the first half of district play ends Friday.

Considering that 45-34 victory was the closest outcome of the first five, it really seems that the Lady Dragons may not get pushed. They are on a 16-game district winning streak.

It really seems that the only test is going to come on Jan. 28 when they play on the road at Keller. Win that one and they will make it a clean sweep.

The Grapevine girls’ playoff chase

You really can’t sugarcoat this, but the Lady Mustangs are in a defining moment of their season. They are playing for their playoff lives. If the playoffs were to start today, Grapevine would be out. Good thing they don’t.

On Friday, they close the first half of district play at likely playoff bound Euless Trinity. On Jan. 14, they start the second half of District 6-5A playing host to Irving MacArthur. Grapevine likely will be 3-3 after Carrollton R.L. Turner.

But if Steve Ganninger’s crew is going to find a way to make the postseason, it has to pick off two of the teams its chasing. Colleyvillle Heritage (Jan. 24) is also a home game. If the Lady Mustangs don’t do it then, they may not do it all.

Grapevine and Colleyville Heritage boys in trouble

Usually playoff teams, these two are in a hole as this week began. Grapevine is 1-2. Colleyville is 0-3. That’s not the way to start a playoff pursuit. Granted, Grapevine lost a heartbreaker to Irving the other night, but you can’t change it, either. Colleyville Heritage has struggled to score in district play.

The possibility of both GCISD teams missing the boys playoffs looms.

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