The Timberview boys basketball team wrapped up the first round of district competition with a 5-3 mark, and coach Duane Gregory said that his team is pretty much where it needs to be to have a good shot of getting into the playoffs.
The Wolves lost to Summit by a score of 61-55 in its final game of the first half of district play, and after taking on Lancaster on Tuesday after the print deadline, will square off with Arlington Seguin on Jan. 23 at THS.
“It will be a dog fight and a battle,” Gregory said. “I think that geographically, we are closer to them than any of the other Mansfield schools, so the kids all know each other and the coaches all know each other. When you have that familiarity, you have a game on your hands every time.
“We have to prepare for a tough contest, because every time we play them, that's what it is.”
Gregory said he believes his team is in good shape with the first round of district play already in the books.
“I think we're in a position where we will have to play well in the second half, but we're in a position where every night we are in a playoff battle, and that is where we want to be,” Gregory said.
Gregory said that he has had strong efforts from a number of his players this season.
“It really has been kind of a whole-team effort,” Gregory said. “Chris Mullins is playing well. Jokwon Bagby is playing well, Quinn Sutton is playing well, so it's a bunch of different guys contributing. If you look at our game totals, it's almost always four or five guys that are at or near double figures in scoring ... so it's really balanced.”
Gregory said that the team's 61-55 loss to Summit was a tough one to take, but added that he thinks it was more of a case of his team being flat that anything else.
“We didn't play defense as well as we had been for a good seven- or eight-minute stretch there,” Gregory said. “I'm not sure what we can attribute that to; hopefully just a blip on the radar. Offensively, we missed a lot of shots that we'd been making. Again, hopefully a blip on the radar. We did not shoot free throws well that night.
“I don't know if that was just a case of you’re going to have a bad night every now and then, or if there is anything more to it. Based on practices these past two days, I think it was a blip on the radar.”
Gregory said that his only area of concern is that his team maintains focus on finishing out the season strong so that it can make a good run at the postseason.
“I think that we just have to make sure that we keep our heads as we go through the second half of district,” Gregory said. “I think that every team wants to make sure they are peaking and taking each game as they come, because it's 14-5A. It's a battle every night, and there are no easy ones.”