The Mansfield Timberview boys basketball team has not dodged any opponents in the non-district schedule, and the recent Whataburger Tournament was no exception.
The Wolves took on 6A power house DeSoto in the holiday tournament and lost by 10 points, and coach Duane Gregory said he knew his team would be tested at the competition.
“The Whataburger Tournament is a prestigious event and this year’s event is loaded with talented teams. My hope is that this will help us knock some of the rust off from Christmas break and show us what we need to do to be prepared for the kind of competition we will see in 10-5A.”
The Wolves opened up district play just before the holiday break with a 64-57 victory over Red Oak, and Gregory said that he was pleased with the progress his team made.
“I felt like we cleaned some things up that we needed to see cleaned up in the Red Oak game, so I was pleased with that. Plus it’s always good to open district with a road win.”
Tim Johnson led the team in scoring with 18 points for Timberview, while Chris Mullins added 12.
William Owens, C.J. Smith, Trazarian White, Desmond Clark and Stacy Sneed combined for 43 points for the Wolves in the district opener.
Things don’t get any easier for Timberview after the break, as Midlothian, a team that has flirted with a top 25 state ranking all season, will come to town on Jan. 3.
“Midlothian is a very talented team,” Gregory said. “They have good guards and good size. They can play fast or slow. I expect this to be one of many 10-5A battles both teams will face.”
Gregory said that he believes the game against the Panthers will be a good measuring stick for his team.
“This is a key game in the 10-5A district race,” Gregory said. “Both teams are state ranked and the winner will have to play at a high level.”
The Wolves will square off with cross-town rival Legacy, another playoff contender, at 8 p.m. Friday at Legacy High School.
“I feel that if we come every night and play to our ability level and play together with great effort we will have a great chance to be successful in 10-5A,” Gregory said. “There will be no off nights in this district, so preparation, effort and being together are key.”