Indians must adjust to injury and change

Rocky with the rock– Junior post Rocky Loewen puts the ball in the basket during Dec. 10 in the 55-48 win over Denver City. Loewen had 23 points in the Dec. 17 win over Greenwood.

With district coming up, the Indian basketball team works as hard as ever to maintain a perfect district win streak.

“We have been working on ball handling and shooting,” senior  post Dakota Crump said. “There is always room for improvement.”

The Indians haven’t lost a district game in five years, and this group does not want to be the ones who let the record fall.

“It’ll be tough, but we’re planning on keeping that record,” senior forward Blue Franklin said. “I’ve lost one district game in four years of high school, and I don’t plan on losing any more.”

Even though they are working to be district dominant, Coach Page thinks the Indians are not quite there.

“We are not ready yet,” Page said. “With not getting to play a tournament and not having much varsity experience, it will take time to get ready.”

The Indians may have to make due without the services of junior guard Sabraun Adam, who suffered an elbow to the throat in the first quarter of the Greenwood game on Dec. 17.

“It is definitely a huge hurdle,” Page said, “but this will serve as an opportunity for someone else to step up.”

Senior Michael Garza played in Adams’s stead for the remainder of the 56-39 win over the Rangers, and sophomore Luke Wimmer will also move back up from JV to help.

With key elements of the team having graduated in May, the Indians still search for a consistent rhythm.

“There will be difficult things we have to overcome,” Crump said. “For one, we’re going to need to focus on not feeding a 6’7” post [Hunter Wieshuhn].”

Not only will there be differences within the Indian team, but also in other teams in the district 2-3A.

“Some teams are not going to have the same offense, and some people have gotten better,” Franklin said. “There is more size than we have.”

Winning the district is Page’s main  focus, though keeping the 40–0 win streak would be an added bonus.

“The goal is to win district and go undefeated,” Page said. “Just to win district we have to keep a better record than the second place team, though.”

So far the team has a 7-2 record in preseason with losses to Frenship and Big Spring. The Indians hope to avenge the loss to the Steers tonight.

“We still need improvement,” Franklin said. “We don’t have focus. We have the ability to win, but it’s a matter of staying focused.”

The Indians play Big Spring in the main gym at 7:30. During the break the Indians will play in the Caprock Tournament with district play beginning Jan. 10 at Estacado.