Cedar Park knows it can beat any team in the district, the Timberwolves just need to learn how to put things together.
They’re using the experience of their senior class, led by captain Ryan Spyker and three-year varsity member Cameron Hunt, to get back in the district race to make the playoffs for the eighth year in a row.
“This senior class is a cohesive unit,” Cedar Park head coach Blake Brown said. “They’ve all played together growing up and there’s not a lot of animosity among them. We can beat every team in the district. But we’ve got to learn how to put things together.”
Two years ago, Cedar Park made it to the state semifinals before Beaumont Ozen. Hunt was playing as a sophomore and made a spot start during the postseason run when a starter came down with an illness.
Having made the varsity squad at a young age, he said his main goal this season is to impart his experience on the underclassmen.
“I’ve been playing with this group of guys since kindergarten so it make things easier,” Hunt said. “To start the season, I wanted to make everybody better because I won’t be here next year. I feel like I’ve already kind of left my mark sophomore year.”
Brown said you can’t have enough experience on a team. Hunt had a very educational season playing with Trey Knight, a first-team All-State honoree now playing college basketball at Indiana State.
While Hunt is the quiet, experienced leader, Spyker is a vocal big brother for the Timberwolves.
His brother graduated from Cedar Park in 2012 and the two are very similar in their verbal demeanor. Spyker pretty much followed in his footsteps and what he’s learned.
“I like the feeling of being able to lead my team and knowing that anybody on the team can come to me and talk about anything,” Spyker said. “I want the coaches to look back and say I left it all on the floor. Even if it’s not scoring a bunch, just doing the little things is important.”
Spyker has an open mind as to what the next step in his career is. He wants to play basketball in college and has a couple options at small schools, but plans to go to business school and become a salesman like his dad.
After dropping a pair of games to open the district schedule, the Timberwolves have won two straight games, beating Hutto 56-39 least Tuesday and Elgin 42-38 on Friday. They continue the year at home against East View Friday and at Rouse next Tuesday.
For Brown, Spyker is important because of his leadership skills. He’s been around a lot of basketball and he wants to motivate his teammates because the captain just wants to see them do well.
“Ryan means the world to our team because he doesn’t have a bad day with his preparation,” Brown said. “He’s like a coach on the floor because he’s ready to learn and he works hard. Those are intangibles that you can’t put a price tag on.”