Basketball teams seek to advance in playoffs

Both basketball teams will be playing Friday night trying to advance in the playoffs. The girls take on the states #1 5A team Mansfield Timberview while the boys team takes on Rockwall-Heath.

Halle Barham

Both basketball teams will be playing Friday night trying to advance in the playoffs. The girls take on the state’s #1 5A team Mansfield Timberview while the boys’ team takes on Rockwall-Heath.

Arman Kafai, Lead Sports Reporter

Both girls’ and boys’ basketball will be in action tonight as playoff fever goes into full swing.

The girls’ finally overcame the hurdle that was McKinney North on Tuesday, with their 44-33 win over the Bulldogs. The win was a long awaited one, but in the next round will be one of the toughest opponents the team has ever played.

Mansfield Timberview comes in as the #1 team in 5A for girls. The Wolves have a 34-0 record  and have won their playoff games by an average of 39 points.

“They’re really good at every position,” head coach Ross Reedy said. “Sometimes it’s kinda funny that you think teams like [Timberview] that are tough to gameplan for. Sometimes, these are the fun ones to game plan for.”

The Wolves are led by junior Chennedy Carter, who has averaged 22.3 points in the playoffs, and 18 points on the season. The #17 recruit in the Class of 2017 is someone the team will keep an eye on, and someone they need to keep in tact to win the game.

“We don’t get fixated on what one individual produces,” Reedy said. “We’re more focused on what a team produces. Chances are, you’re not gonna stop the individual completely. We don’t look at it as a matchup of Chennedy Carter and Jordan Hamilton, or Chennedy Carter and Rebecca Lescay. We play team defense and ultimately 99 percent of the time when you put team versus individual, then you win. They do a good job of spreading the ball around, but we don’t get fixated by what an individual does because sometimes, an individual scores 30 and we still win.”

The boys’ team will take on #10 5A Rockwall-Heath in the next round of playoffs tonight at Allen High School. The Hawks are 26-5 on the season and recently defeated Cedar Hill 60-53 in a playoff warmup game last Friday.

“They’re really good,” head coach Marcus Eckert. “They have 10 seniors on their team, and most of them have been playing varsity since their sophomore year. They feel like they have something to prove after getting knocked out in the 2nd round of playoffs last year to an inferior opponent. They shoot the ball really ball, so I feel like if we can pressure them and take them out of what they like to do and make them uncomfortable. They’ll make a few threes, but I feel like our defense is really solid.”

The team is prepared to take on Heath’s press and 1-3-1 zone, as they look to advance to the 3rd round of playoffs for a 2nd straight year.

“I feel like the pressure doesn’t bother us because we pressure and when we practice our pressure, we go against it every day,” Eckert said. “I’m not as concerned as with the pressure, although they are very long and athletic. They’re not going to be able to do that quite as well because they have to respect our deep threat. Reggie and Zac really stretch the floor, so I feel like there’s going to be some big gaps in their pressure that our guards can attack.”