The Grapevine boys basketball team had a tough start to district play on Dec. 20, and things will not get much easier after the holiday break.
The Mustangs will square off with Fort Worth Dunbar on Jan. 3, and coach Jeremy Mills said that his teams will have its hands full.
“Dunbar is an extremely fast and athletic team, and we expect a tough district game,” Mills said. “We must take care of the ball and rebound the entire game and not let them go on any runs.”
While Mills acknowledges that Dunbar will be a tough district opponent, he does not necessarily see the game as a measuring stick for his team early on.
“This is just one of many tough district games we’ll be playing over the next seven weeks,” Mills said. “Each and every district game will be a battle, and we must execute our game plan to give ourselves a chance to compete and win.”
Grapevine lost by four points to Fort Worth Polytechnic to open up district play just before Christmas.
Boone Montgomery led the team in scoring with 22 points, while Andrew Lastinger scored 17 points in the game for the Mustangs.
Ethan Tabor finished the game with 15 points and Dalton Novotny added eight.
Mills said that it was a hard-fought game and said that, in the end, Poly just executed better in the teams’ first meeting.
“It was a close game all four quarters, and they made more game-winning plays and hit some big shots to beat us,” Mills said. “Turnovers hurt us the entire game and lead to several easy baskets in transition for Poly.”
Grapevine competed in the M.T. Rice tournament over the holiday break, and Mills said that it was precisely what his team needed heading into the district season.
“The competition has been very challenging for us and is exactly what we were looking for as we prepare for district,” Mills said last Thursday, in the middle of the tournament. “We opened up with 17-0 state-ranked Midway and lost a tough battle 75-67, then beat Montgomery 51-28, beat Austin Bowie 57-45 and lost to Mansfield Legacy 65-52.”