With three teams tied for the top spot in District 5-6A heading into this week’s games, one of them will step back into third place when the dust settles on Friday night.
One key game will be Timber Creek playing host to Keller on Friday.
Although Keller beat the Falcons in their first matchup, the teams were pulled into a three-way tie at 6-1 when the Indians lost to the third 6-1 team, Denton Guyer, last week.
Granted, the Falcons would need to overcome Denton Ryan in their early week game on Tuesday, and Keller was to play Byron Nelson prior to the pivotal tilt on Friday. Nelson was in the fourth-place spot at 4-3 last week after they picked up a win over Ryan.
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Timber Creek defeated Nelson earlier in the week.
A win by Keller on Friday would give them a tie-breaker over the Falcons, as they would own the sweep of head-to-head matchups.
Keller failed to take command of the district last week when the Indians lost their first district game to Guyer, 56-48.
Keller came back to pick up a win over Central on Friday, 45-23. Nolan Taylor picked up 17 points for Keller to lead all scorers.
For Timber Creek, a decisive win over Fossil Ridge, 72-35, helped set the stage for this week’s big games.
In the win over Ridge, Timber Creek was led by De’Vante Waldon’s 22 points. Other Falcons in double digits were Dare Brazeal and Hayden Selzer.
“Here we are after the first round at 6-1,” said Timber Creek head coach Brad Mouser, “setting ourselves up for a good spot. But it’s one at a time,” he said of not looking past Ryan to get to the Keller game.
“It will be a fun one on Friday. But you have to show up every game and you can’t let a slip-up bother you,” he said. “I tell my guys that if you get beat, don’t lose two in a row. That gives you an opportunity to have success in district.”
At the start of the season, Mouser said he wouldn’t have been quite as optimistic of their current position, given their roster was never fully complete due to injuries to key players.
Now into the district schedule, the roster is solid and the Falcons are playing confident basketball.
The first game between the Indians and Falcons was a 20-point win by Keller, but Timber Creek has been on a five-game win streak.
“Give Keller and Coach (Randall) Durant credit,” Mouser said. “They made us not play well. We didn’t play to our fullest potential. But Keller shot the ball well and rebounded well. We’ve got to overcome those factors and it’ll make an interesting game.
“It will be a great atmosphere and it’s the kind of game you want to coach, night in and night out,” Mouser said of Friday’s matchup.
Fossil Ridge will focus on picking up their first district win during their week’s games with Denton Guyer and Ryan.
Central will take on Northwest and Guyer this week.