Hot streak

Boys basketball seeks to win third consecutive game

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Hot streak

Sophomore Kolby McSpadden elevates through traffic to shoot a layup.

Sophomore Kolby McSpadden elevates through traffic to shoot a layup.

Kelsey Carroll

Sophomore Kolby McSpadden elevates through traffic to shoot a layup.

Kelsey Carroll

Kelsey Carroll

Sophomore Kolby McSpadden elevates through traffic to shoot a layup.

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The boys basketball team (8-15, 3-5 in district) will face Wylie East (2-18, 1-7) tonight at 7 p.m. as it looks to keep its two-game winning streak alive.

“We’ve taken down the second place team two weeks in a row, and we’ve felt really good about that,” head coach Kyle Herrema said. “For us, it’s just that cliche approach: take it one game at a time. We have to focus on what we’re doing and not worry what other people are doing. We can only control what we can control, and that’s us.”

In their previous match up versus Wylie East, the Leopards had a dominant game, winning 63-49. However, considering the depth of the district this year, Herrema said it is important that the team doesn’t go into Friday being too confident.

“Although Wylie East is at the bottom of the standings, they have been playing a lot of close games recently,” Herrema said. “I think they are dangerous. They had a game recently where they beat North Forney 90-85. Obviously, we just have to keep on winning ball games. Each game is super important, and we can’t look past them.”

Junior Luke Ledebur emphasized the importance of this game for the team, as playoffs are fast approaching.

“This is a big game for us,” Ledebur said. “We’ve already won the past two games, so if we can get a three-game winning streak, that would be big going into the final games of district to build momentum.”

The team recently ended the first round of district on a high note, coming out on top over West Mesquite (8-14, 4-4) by a score of 40-30. The Leopards continued the strong play Tuesday night in a 41-35 win against Forney (19-7, 5-3), outscoring the Jackrabbits by 20 points in the paint.

“We knew that we had an advantage in size against Forney,” Herrema said. “I thought we did a good job of moving the basketball and finding the right guy and trying to get the ball inside. The points showed that we really did dominate inside.”

With a one-point lead going into the fourth quarter, the Leopards pulled through with defense and clutch free throws in crunch time.

“We got stops when we needed them and were clutch from the free throw line late,” Herrema said. “Kolby McSpadden and Jonathan Lawrence both went 2-2 from the line with under a minute and a half to go.”

Ledebur also broke the school record for the amount of charges taken in one season, tallying up his 31st charge Tuesday night with six more regular season games still left to go.

“Taking a charge is an incredibly unselfish thing,” Herrema said. “You’re giving up your body to do a positive thing for your team. It really shows Luke’s unselfishness and how tough he is as a player.”

Ledebur’s ability to put his body on the line has had a large impact on the team’s defensive energy and the game as a whole.

“[Taking a charge] allows us to get opposing team’s best players in foul trouble, and it makes them paranoid when they’re driving in the lane,” Ledebur said. “It’s a big part of our defensive game plan to take charges on their best players.”

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