Boys basketball prepares for early season challenge at McKinney North

Junior+Josh+Kirkland+prepares+for+his+free+throw.+Lovejoy+beat+Princeton+on+Jan.+21+with+a+score+of+43-40.
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Boys basketball prepares for early season challenge at McKinney North

Junior Josh Kirkland prepares for his free throw. Lovejoy beat Princeton on Jan. 21 with a score of 43-40.

Junior Josh Kirkland prepares for his free throw. Lovejoy beat Princeton on Jan. 21 with a score of 43-40.

Katie Dolberry

Junior Josh Kirkland prepares for his free throw. Lovejoy beat Princeton on Jan. 21 with a score of 43-40.

Katie Dolberry

Katie Dolberry

Junior Josh Kirkland prepares for his free throw. Lovejoy beat Princeton on Jan. 21 with a score of 43-40.

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The only two undefeated basketball teams remaining in District 15-5A will meet tonight in a matchup that will take place on the Bulldog’s homecourt at 7:30 p.m. Both the Leopards  (2-0) and the McKinney North Bulldogs (2-0) head into the game boasting an undefeated record, but only one will come out with its winning streak intact. Lovejoy lost two close games to Mckinney North last year. 

“It makes it so much sweeter to win, and it will be a little bit harder if we lose,” junior Mitchell Weaver said. “We get to play them again no matter what, but I really think we’re gonna win. I know that we want it really bad this year.”

The team had a close win in Tuesday night’s game against Princeton, winning 43-38. The game came down to free throws with Lovejoy going 14 out of 14. Junior Josh Kirkland made all eight of his attempts. Kirkland’s free throws were able to push the Leopards’ score just out of reach. 

“[Converting free throws] boosts our confidence because it just kind of shows that we are ready to play any team, not just a team we can blow out,” Weaver said. “It [also] shows how good we’ve become shooting free throws. The free throws showed how much depth and skills our team has. It’s not just feeding our big man or shooting.”

When preparing for the game against Mckinney North, the Leopards will need to find a way to limit the Bulldogs’ 6’4” sophomore Dylan Fraizer. According to Weaver, playing against Fraizer will help the team grow.

“We have to figure out a way to guard him,” Weaver said. “[He’ll] make us work. I think it will make us a lot tougher. We’re going to have to play super aggressive. We have to prepare for battle because this game is going to be a war.”

Weaver believes his team can pull out the win and if they do, it will be a be a good confidence booster. It will make them work to keep their undefeated status. 

“Even if we do end up losing, it will let us play with a chip on our shoulder knowing that we will be coming for them next time,” Weaver said.