ABILENE, Texas - Boys high school hoops tips-off the season on Tuesday, and the focus for Abilene programs is eliminating early playoff exits in 2017-2018.
For Abilene High and now-3rd year head coach Don Heseman, they say it feels like a district championship season – welcoming back 4 starters that finished 4th in 3-6A last season. But they were young then, and now – an even deeper roster hopes to turn the tides in 2017 with guys like David Russell, Bradley Stevens, and Nic Marczysnki.
For Cooper, a late season push took them to the area round of the playoffs last year, after a 2nd place finish in district 4-5A, and this year – just 2 returners means the challenge begins early if they'll compete to get back to the postseason.
Bryan Connover’s second season will be about getting new and inexperienced faces up to speed, with just those two veterans – one being Myller Royals who is currently unavailable until football season concludes.
And for Wylie, the reigning district 3-4A champs, it’s about continuing a tradition this season with 8 seniors, and a core of both veterans and youth – six total letterman back from a team that lost just 4 games all year.
It certainly was quite a run, but an early playoff exit in the area round weighs on their minds – a common theme from last year’s Abilene teams.
Dylan Isenhower and Steven Lopez lead Gregg Ruffin’s team that will have plenty of size, but its focus remains to not just win district but now get over that line in the postseason.
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