Lions are area champs; expected to win regionals February 24
Lions are Area champs, beating out Waco Reicher, and heading to Abilene February 24th for Regional playoffs against Lubbock Trinity. Ranked number one, and posed to win, the varsity lions men’s basketball team zooms through the 2018 season here. Lions win 19 pre-district games and end up 9-1 in District.
Both coaches and players say the season started off rough, but slowly they learned how to become a strong team and to win together.
“It makes me feel pretty good knowing that I haven’t won a state title in my high school career, to be able to finally get me one senior year, gonna go out with a bang,” said Senior Guard Jordan Phillips about nearing state playoffs.
Coach Alfred said he doesn’t want to push the players too much, and just take it step by step throughout the season.
Two teammates have been playing together for a couple of years, and know how to work together well.
“For me, I know he knows how to handle the ball pretty well, so when he drives, I know I can kick it to him, then if I drive, he can kick it to me, it’s just how we are,” said Sophomore DJ Jones about teammate Sophomore Brandon Lawrence. “I mean, we’re really close off the court.”
Instead of playing individually on the court, these two learned to depend on each other and work together, which resulted in them conquering the other team with ease.
Honors for the team and individuals are piling up. Currently, the team is ranked #1 in TAPPS, and heading to the state Semi-Finals February 24th.
Jordon Phillips is listed as Rival’s Top 150 players in America, and is also a McDonald’s All-American nominee. He also recently signed to play for the University of Arkansas basketball program.
“It’s a great honor, it’s a dream from day one”, said Jordon Philips about the nomination for Mcdonald’s.
Senior Chandler Wilberding was also named McDonald’s Scholar Athlete of the Month and presented a $1,000 check by Channel 11’s Sportscaster Bill Jones in December.
With all the accolades, these seniors realize they want to slow down and enjoy their senior year.
“I don’t want to rush, I just want to take it step by step”, said Jordon Phillips. Jordon says his ultimate goal is to join the NBA but he doesn’t want to rush into it.