Boys Basketball 2018-19 Season Preview

Varsity Team Looks to Build Upon Last Season’s Success


Rylee Elam

Prepping for a free throw, junior guard Jacob Hester looks to build upon his personal success from last year. “I’ve worked hard in the offseason,” Hester said. “I hope to be a leader on the court, and hopefully lead us to a lot of wins, and of course a district championship.”

Jalen Gomez, Reporter

The boys varsity basketball team has been preparing for this season, working to build upon last year’s playoff run which ended in a loss to Magnolia High School in the first round. With several senior departures, the team has a few holes in the roster this year, demanding that some players make the leap from JV to varsity. 

“Obviously, we love basketball,” varsity basketball coach Blake Brown said. “We have this excellent group of seniors, who are very enthusiastic for the season to start.”

With a lot of senior leadership gone, Brown said that he expects his players to pick up the torch with pride.

“They’ve shown a lot of great leadership on the court so far,” Brown said. “Probably their greatest test of leadership has yet to come, because we haven’t played a game yet. We haven’t had any true adversity just yet, which is what we try to create during practice on a daily basis.”

The leaders are assumed to be the returning varsity players, including standout senior center Josh Baker, whose teammates including senior Ethan Kieke said is comparable to NBA superstar Kevin Durant due to his size and talent.

“Going into my senior year, I’m looking forward to leading our team of experienced seniors as well as the incoming juniors and sophomores who are being introduced to the high level of play that comes with being on varsity,” Baker said. “I’m looking to prove that we are one of the top 5A schools in the state, and to keep up with the Cedar Park standard of winning.”

One thing that has changed from the past season into this upcoming season is the change in schedule due to the district changes. While the team will still play teams such as Rouse and Connally, new teams added to the schedule include Glenn and Weiss.

“We know a whole lot about Connally, as we have played in their district for a while,” Brown said. “Pflugerville is always a perennial power, and they’re actually dropping down from 6A to 5A, so they’ll be tough. Rouse is always well coached. Weiss has an excellent coach in Russell Miller, so it will be a tough district.”

Not everyone is as concerned about the district as Brown, with some of the seniors being more than confident about the competition.

“I’m looking forward to our new district this year,” junior guard Jonathan Stockwell said. “It means new teams with new players, and it’ll be fun for me to adjust from JV to Varsity and handle a brand new district. Overall I’m not concerned.”

Another challenge could be the team’s chemistry, which varies on a year-to-year basis.

“Coaches are always concerned about chemistry,” Brown said. “We work on that daily, with learning how to play with different lineups, but it’s really just a process that comes along during the season.”

Over the course of the four years that the senior class has been together, the excitement has been noticed by Brown, who said he aims to turn the excitement into production.

“Anytime you’re excited about something, you aim for it to be really good,” Brown said. “So yes, it is very exciting.”

According to Baker, he said they would like their student section attendance to go up this season, and for the hype and the energy to be at an all-time high.

“Our team plays at such a high pace, and you never know what’s going to happen,” Baker said. “We have so many athletic players that someone from the other team is bound to get dunked on, so why not witness it?”

Their regular season started yesterday and they will be up today against the Leander Lions again at 8 p.m. tonight in the Timberdome.