Bright Future

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Bright Future

Tate Peterson, Staff writer

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No matter what sport, the playoffs present a rigorous challenge of winning games against some of the best opponents within a team’s division. The Allen varsity basketball organization was one of those teams that experienced these challenges early on with a hard-fought loss in the first round or the playoffs, but that doesn’t take away from the 24-7 regular season record that each team-member worked hard for all year.

The Eagles came into the year looking to improve upon their 29-10 record from last year, and another playoff run was definitely in the mind of the coaches and players.

“The expectation for [this season] was winning the State Championship,” senior forward Tony Baker said.

Allen got off to a hot start, winning seven of their first 10 games. Their dominance continued, as the team went on to win eight games in a row right after that. The Eagles became an offensive threat to any team they played, as they scored more than 70 points a game in 13 games.

As the season progressed, the defense continued to improve, as there were only seven games where Allen allowed the other team to score more than 70 points.

Some of the notable games this year include two wins against rivals Plano West and Plano Senior, an extremely high-scoring 108-85 win against West Mesquite, and a 77-57 win against city rival McKinney Boyd.

“I was real pleased with the growth of some of our young kids. [This year] was a growing experience. I think our kids grew as basketball players, grew as young men, and at the end of the day that’s all you can ask for,” head coach Jeff McCullough said.

The impressive district season earned the Eagles a spot in the playoffs this year, but they were eliminated in the first round in a 60-54 loss to Justin Northwest.

“We had high expectations, but unfortunately we just couldn’t get it done this time,” Coach McCullough said.

Those high expectations will carry into next year, as the Eagles are looking to make it further and further in the playoffs each year.

“We’ll for sure go to the playoffs next year, we got some talent coming up,” Baker said.

For next year, the goal to win state will be desired even more. However, a new season means a changing roster and that certainly will be the case for Allen, as there will be six seniors graduating this year, opening up six more spots for new players to fill. The team will look to the incoming freshman and the JV teams to fulfill these duties, and with the depth of Allen’s basketball program, the chances of reaching their goals are within reach.

“We have a JV team that is probably the best JV group that I’ve been able to coach in my four years here,” McCullough said. “We’re excited about the youth, the play at the guard position, the speed that we’ll be able to put on the floor next year. If we can develop some guys down low, the bar will be very high for next year’s squad.”


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