On Tuesday, Jan. 22, we traveled to Hico to play our final game of the first round of district play. This was a game that we needed to win to keep us in contention for a playoff spot. Our team was ready for the challenge. They came out focused, energized and intense! In the first quarter, with the help of solid team defense and Luis Vega’s 8 points and Kelan Verette’s 7 points, we jumped out to a 17-3 lead after the first quarter. We increased our lead to 37 – 18 at the half. We played even in the third quarter with both teams scoring 13 each and in the fourth quarter we outscored Hico 13 – 9 and won the game 62-37. It was one of the best games we have played together as a team with each member contributing in their own way. Leading the scoring for the Dillos was Kelan Verette with 25 pts, Luis Vega and Aaron Perez had 12 pts each, Issac Zepeda had 7 pts, and Kolton Ellis, JT Mathis, and Caelob Hardman had 2 pts each. After winning this game, it put us in sole 3rd place in the district standing with a record of 3-2 for the first round of district play. Valley Mills and Goldthwaite ended the first round tied for 1st with each having a record of 4-1.
On Friday, Jan. 25, we traveled to Meridian to open up the second round of district play. We beat Meridian at home the first time we played by a score of 35-33. We knew this would be a battle, and it was. Meridian jump-ed out to a 14-6 first quarter lead. In the second quarter our kids fought back with a 20-point quarter and tied the game up at half, 27-27. In the third quarter we created a few turnovers from our press and got up by 10 points at one point, but with a few untimely turnovers and them beating us back on our press, Meridian came back to within 3 points and we led 40-37 after three quarters of play. Early in the fourth quarter, we traded baskets and turnovers got us again and Meridian went up by four, midway through the final quarter. They extended their lead to six and we never got it back to less than four. We had to foul at the end and they knocked down a few of their free throws and won the game 48-55. Leading the scoring for the Dillos was Kelan Verette with 28 pts, JT Mathis had 9 pts, Luis Vega had 6 pts, Garrett Welch had 3 pts, and Issac Zepeda had 2 pts. With this loss it puts us and Meridian tied for third with a record of 3-3 in district play, with Goldthwaite and Valley Mills both tied for first with records of 5-1.
On Tuesday, Jan. 29, we will host a big game with Goldthwaite and then we will travel to Valley Mills on Friday, Feb. 1 for another big district game. We will then host Deleon at Armadillo Arena on Feb. 5.
I am very proud of the way our boys are playing. We are right in the middle of this district race with a chance to earn a play off spot. It’s a pretty even district where any of the top five teams can beat anyone else on any given night. If you get a chance, please come out and support our kids.