The Mansfield Timberview boys basketball team is firing on all cylinders as the playoffs move along, and coach Duane Gregory said his team is playing with a lot of heart.
The Wolves are set to square off with district rival Lancaster in the regional quarterfinals early next week after the Tigers defeated Dallas Woodrow Wilson in their area round game last Friday night.
Gregory said before the outcome of that game that he was not sure what team he would rather face out of Lancaster and Wilson.
“I guess it’s a ‘pick your poison’ situation,” Gregory said. “They are both outstanding teams with talented players and strong coaching staffs. We will have to be ready to compete and execute at a high level regardless of which team ends up being our opponent.”
Timberview defeated South Oak Cliff by a score of 79-62 in its area round game last week.
Tim Johnson scored 30 points in the game, while Isaac Likekele added 21 points and Chris Mullins scored 16 points.
William Owens, Rossi Paul and Desmond Clark combed for 12 points against South Oak Cliff.
Gregory said the game went pretty much as he thought that it would.
“We expected South Oak Cliff to be a hotly contested game and that is exactly what it was,” Gregory said. “They had a size advantage that we knew we had to overcome with quickness and good ball movement. When you are playing one of the traditional powers of Dallas, you have to compete and execute at a high level, and I felt we did that.”
Gregory said he is optimistic about the way his team is competing moving forward.
“The guys are playing with great confidence right now,” Gregory said. “They are defending well as a unit. They are sharing the ball well in transition situations. They are sharing the ball well in half-court situations, exceptionally well at times. The level of communication is a key for us.
“The guys know when they communicate and listen to each other, that takes everything to another higher level. However, we are still striving for more consistency, trying to reduce our lapses as much as possible.”
Gregory said he is getting everyone’s best effort, which is critical at this point.
“One of the best things about this team is that guys step up when called upon,” Gregory said. “Whether it’s knocking down a shot, playing sound defense, coming up with key rebounds and loose balls, stepping up to the free throw line and making both free throws, the other guys on this team are making these plays.
“These may not necessarily be the kinds of plays that make the crowd go nuts, but they are the kind of plays every good team has to have. What makes it all click is everyone on the team sees the value in those contributions. A strength of this team is their chemistry. From top to bottom, it is a strong bond.”