It’s not uncommon for a basketball team to feel like family, but at Vista Ridge, they take the phrase to another level.
The Rangers’ basketball program features four sets of twins, two on sub-varsity and two on varsity. Juniors Bryce and Bryant Burton and seniors Brandon and Quinton Taylor are on the varsity squad.
“Of the 10 players on varsity, four are with each other day in and day out,” Vista Ridge head coach Clint Anderson said. “That bleeds over to the other six players on the team. They have such personality and they get along so well that they could all be part of the same family.”
At first glance, you can’t tell Brandon and Quinton apart. But on the court, they couldn’t be more different. Brandon is a post player and, as Quinton admits, the better dunker, while Quinton is a guard that isn’t afraid to shoot the ball.
The two have been playing basketball together forever. But there has been a handful of times when they wanted to be their own player and branch out. But each time, they somehow came back to playing their best basketball together.
“It’s always been us against the world and we look at going to college and play ball like that,” Brandon said. “At the same time, we have wanted to spread our wings away from each other. But that’s a hard bond to break.”
Having so many twins in the program has made it easier for Anderson to take over. After coaching in the Houston area last season, he came to Vista Ridge this season and found a family atmosphere.
In talking with other coaches before taking the Vista Ridge job, he bragged about having two athletic 6-foot-7 big men in the Taylor twins. While Brandon is more of a vocal leader, he said Quinton is quieter, so when he talks, the team listens.
“When first got here, I couldn’t tell them apart,” Anderson said. “The more I’ve been around them, I can tell them apart by just personality. They look identical, but they’re different kids. Most people don’t get to see that.”
The twins are willing to continue playing together at the next level. But most college coaches see them and are wary because they don’t want two of the same players.
Quinton is older by seven minutes, and he takes his role as the big brother very seriously. They have the best chemistry, but they’re also each other’s biggest critic.
“I’ll be first one to call him out on something,” Quinton said. “At the same time when he does something good, I’ll be the first one on my feet clapping and giving him a high five. I’m not afraid to tell him what’s wrong and I expect the same thing from him.”
Last year, Brandon and Quinton helped lead a very deep Vista Ridge team to a 31-5 record, district championship and run to the third round of the playoffs. Their goals are much the same this season and the Rangers are 15-6 overall and 1-1 early in district play.
The Rangers travel to face Hays Friday at 7:30 p.m. before hosting Lake Travis next Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m.
Brandon and Quinton both had the same memory as their favorite from playing together. In a game last year against Georgetown, Quinton got a block on one end, Brandon saved the ball from going out of play and the Rangers went down before Brandon finished an alley-oop on the other end.
“It’s like having another me on the court,” Quinton said. “The chemistry is unbelievable and going to war every game with your brother is something that you can’t duplicate.”