Inexperienced Indians work to make playoffs

Making a move–Junior guard Hector Contreras drives into the lane during district play with Pecos on Jan. 25. Contreras had five points in the Indian victory.

 The Indian basketball team has not had an easy season. The team has little prior varsity experience with most of its players moving from last year’s JV. Add a new coach in Tanner Moore, who also moved up from the JV, and the season has had its challenges.

  “Our main goal for the season is to all come together and grow,” junior post John Stoglin said. “We are all first-year varsity players, and we are still figuring out who we are as a team.” 

Moore has tried to make this process smoother for the team. After being assistant coach and already having a relationship with the players, becoming head coach was an easier transition. 

  “It has been a pretty smooth process,” Moore said. “There was not a level of trust-building with most of the students that had to take place like some coaches have to do moving into a new position.”

  The Indians have played a tough preseason with games against larger schools, accumulating a 6-17 record. With a 2-2 record in district, which included a loss to Greenwood in overtime, conference play has not been as dominant as in years past.

  “I try to improve my game and do what’s best for the team and not myself,” junior guard  Jydo Portillo said. “This will help the team improve by having players on the court not caring about how many points or rebounds they have but about what the team needs.”

 With a district championship doubtful after losses to Andrews and Greenwood, the Indians are looking at possible play-off scenarios. 

  “My team, and the seniors, deserve to get the best out of me,” Portillo said, “and the seniors deserve to leave on a good note when they graduate.”

  With an 82-28 win over Pecos on Jan. 25, the Indians continue to prepare for their biggest rivals in district.

“We have lost to Andrews before,” junior guard Hudson Harper said, “but with the motivation of our coach and our hard work we will get them.” 

The Indians will host Fort Stockton on Friday at 7:30 p.m.