With the holidays and pre-district schedule behind them, high school basketball teams can finally try and find some consistency.
All of the LISD boys’ and girls’ teams had spent the better part of the season so far playing in tournaments and traveling to play multiple games over a short span. From here until the end of the season, they’re all looking forward to the consistency of playing twice a week.
“Any coach is going to say they like that consistency,” Cedar Park boys’ coach Brett Brown said. "We like (the second half of the schedule). We focus on who we have next and have a thorough scouting report and specific preparation for each team.”
Teams spend the holiday break all over the state and country. The Cedar Park and Vandegrift boys’ teams stayed in town for the LISD Holiday Classic and the Vandegrift girls’ teams went the furthest, heading to San Diego for the Surf-N-Slam
The Cedar Park girls’ team won a trio of games at the MT Rice tournament in Waco, while the Rouse girls’ team also won three games in Weatherford. On the boys’ side, Vandegrift was successful at the local tournament, winning two games on the first day and dropping back-to-back games on day two for a fourth place finish.
“Anytime we play in tournaments we’re looking to get kids reps and build experience and get in a rhythm,” Vandegrift boys’ coach Cliff Ellis said. “We’re just trying to get them back into shape and shake the dust off so that our first game back wasn’t a district
District play for the girls is well underway and Cedar Park (15-6, 5-1 District 19-5A) and Rouse (13-8, 4-2 District 19-5A) are both in playoff position. In 25-6A, Leander (3-12, 2-0), Vista Ridge (19-4, 3-0) and Vandegrift (14-10, 3-0) are the only three teams undefeated in district play.
Rouse (15-7, 3-1) started the district year off strong with a big 63-52 win over rival Cedar Park (10-6, 2-1) before the break. Vista Ridge (14-5, 1-0) started the 6A schedule off with a 71-43 win over Lehman, while Leander and Vandegrift are 0-1 early in the district play.
Every school in the district has playoff aspirations, and the pedigree is there. All but one boys’ team and Leander and Vista Ridge girls both made the playoffs last season, where the Lady Rangers made an impressive run to the state semifinals.
All that’s left to find now is finding an ever-important rhythm for the rest of the year.
For Cedar Park, the quest to find consistency was tested in tournament play. On both days of the LISD Holiday tournament, the Timberwolves started with wins but failed to capitalize in the second game.
“We have to continue to learn how to win games,” Brown said. “There is always more than one way to win. If your shot’s not folioing and doing the other things, you can still win. We haven’t been giving ourselves a chance to win beyond our shooting percentage.”
The district season continues in ernest Friday night with Vandegrift and Leander squaring off as the only all-LISD meeting of the night, with the boys at Vandegrift and the girls playing at Leander.
“We’ve been up and down,” Ellis said. “We’ve played really good teams really close and play teams that I think we could beat to a one-point ballgame. That’s dealing with high school kids. It’s whatever motivates them.”