Preseason acts as unifier as Indians work to gel


Mercedes Rey

Tough road through– Senior guard Rylan McCormick fights through the Odessa High defense for a lay up during preseason play on Tuesday. The Indians fell to the Bronchos, 44-42.

 The Indian basketball team is currently playing in the Andrews tournament with a 7-3 record after a 44-42 loss to Odessa High on Tuesday.

  While the Indians struggled at the beginning of the season without key players due to football play offs, they started to gel as the preseason progressed.

 “We have a whole new offense,” senior forward John Stoglin said. ”It runs around me basically, so it just works better.”

  Junior guard Channing Carter said team needed to take care of the ball.

  “We probably just need to being solid on the court,” Carter said. “And not many turn overs and playing as team more.”

  With only a handful of games before district begins in January including Saginaw’s Whataburger Tournament, the Indians need to build momentum.

  “Our team just needs to keep getting more comfortable in the gym,” Coach Tanner Moore said. “We are doing a ton of great things, but we still have a little rust on us that we are fighting to knock off before district gets here.”

  District competition presents more challenges then it has in years.

  We know that all the teams in our district are capable of winning and beating us if we don’t play well,” Moore said. “We don’t like to focus on any one team or designate one team as ‘harder’ than any others. We feel like we need to play our best basketball on any given night, regardless of our opponent.”

  The Indians have lost several preseason games by only a few points.

  “It might sound crazy, but the biggest advantage we have right now is that our team has lost a bunch of really close games,” Moore said. “We’ve had our hearts broken together as a team and coaching staff more than anyone else in our district. That has made our group even more competitive and even tougher than we were because we understand that pain of losing a nail-biter better than anyone else in our district. I expect that experience and resolve we developed from those really close losses last year will propel us to succeed in close games this year against teams who don’t quite have the same motivation as we do.”

 The Indians will begin district hosting Fort Stockton on Jan. 13.