Basketball teams find success this regular season: Boys and girls varsity teams rank in the top ten for the Commercial Appeal

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Katie Stanek/The Scroll

Kolby Hilson (12) attempts to dunk the basketball during the varsity game versus the Harding Academy Lions on January 9, 2020. The boys team won 69-59. The girls team lost 60-50.

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From tournament championships to twenty-plus-point wins, both the varsity boys and girls basketball teams have had a season to remember. Both teams have at least ten wins, which is no small feat considering the local competition.

“If you can get out of here and go to the state tournament, you have accomplished something great because the competition is unbelievable. It’s tremendous,” boys varsity coach Jesus Patino said.

With such a competitive district, one would think that being ranked in the top ten (boys at #7, girls at #6 as of Jan. 2020) would be enough. But the players desire more.

“We see it, and we know where we are… but we don’t really pay attention to it because we know if we play our best game we can beat anybody, so none of that ranking stuff really matters,” varsity player Jett Hatfield (11) said.

The boys team has a 13-5 record (as of Jan. 20), including a 90-41 win against Central. As state approaches and the stakes rise, the team is setting itself up for success.

“A few people have stepped up in a major way, like myself… I think that just changed the whole way we play; we play for each other,” varsity player Kolby Hilson (12) said. “I think this year is the first year we’ve been really in sync as a team.”

As for the varsity girls team, they have a 15-3 record (as of Jan. 20) along with the Collierville Dragon Fire Christmas Tournament championship under their belt. However, their goals for the season go beyond that.

“My goals for the season are to improve as a person and to help my teammates get better and, of course, to make it as far to the state championship as possible,” Kyla Mason (11), captain of the girls varsity team, said.

A state title is on both teams’ minds as they set their sights on their next tournament in Murfreesboro. 

“I think we could beat everybody. All we got to do is play together and play hard and leave it all on the floor,” Varsity player Jacob Roberts (11) said.

Although each has intimidating teams to face, both are confident in their chances.

“On any given day, any team can be beaten,” girls varsity coach Tommy Warren said.