Senior heavy Seven Lakes ready to make run at district title

By Tyler Tyre, Sports Editor
Posted 12/24/21

“We have a target on our back because of how we’ve played so far and that’s a good thing,” Davis said. “We’re a state ranked team and everyone knows Seven Lakes is a team to beat. They’re all coming after us and it just makes us have to prepare even better.”

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Senior heavy Seven Lakes ready to make run at district title

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Seven Lakes knew that they would have a chance to do something special this season before it even started.

But the team learned even more about themselves during tournament season and it has made them even more confident heading into district play.

“We realized that we’re a hell of a team throughout tournament season,” said senior guard Tahaad Davis. “We can really hoop, even when we have a bad game here or there, we can find a way to get the job done. We try not to have bad games, but we can compete even when we’re off.”

Seven Lakes has earned that confidence, so far the Spartans have gone 18-2 and started district off with a win over Morton Ranch. The Spartans only losses have come to Westfield, the No. 8 ranked team in the state, and Pearland Dawson, the No. 17 ranked team in the state.

Both of those games were within ten points and were in positions where they could have swung the Spartans direction.

“It was huge for us to get those games in and play such tough teams,” said senior point guard Grant Van Hoozer. “Having the chance to start the season by playing two or three games a day and six games in a weekend, it got us completely ready for district. Now when you have a game it’s easy. Endurance wise and chemistry wise it’s gotten us ready for the challenge of district.”

The team’s early season performances have earned them a top 20 ranking in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches rankings and have brought focus to the program. The Spartans know they will get everyone’s best game and that they can’t take anyone lightly.

“We have a target on our back because of how we’ve played so far and that’s a good thing,” Davis said. “We’re a state ranked team and everyone knows Seven Lakes is a team to beat. They’re all coming after us and it just makes us have to prepare even better.”

The Spartans have a senior heavy team and every member of the team is either a returning varsity player or a senior. Having that luxury has given head coach Shannon Heston a wealth of options in the way he can manage the team.

“I mean all 13 of them are returners or seniors,” Heston said. “It’s a team I can coach many different ways and I can get on them without them taking it the wrong way. I let them decide things and ask them what they see and what’s going on. They’re just really good. Even with this group we’ve really tried to simplify. We learned last year with missing so many games because of COVID that there’s some things we need but there’s also some fluff. Learning what we needed allowed us to learn what we could eliminate. We’re really focusing on specific things this year and it’s really paid off. The things we do, we do very well.”

The Spartans have one final tournament after Christmas break to sharpen up before entering the grind of District 19-6A play. The team is excited to get to the games that mean something, but also know they need to stay focused and not get ahead of themselves.

“We’re excited, having a team like this with so many seniors, we’re experienced, we’re stronger, tougher and we have a different mindset because there are so many seniors,” Davis said. “This team is just great because everyone has their responsibilities, everyone has their roles and they take care of those responsibilities and you don’t have to worry about anyone. And then those younger guys are learning and they definitely help out and make a difference too.”

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