The Dripping Springs varsity boys basketball team suffered a crushing defeat last night against the state-ranked Vista Ridge Rangers.
Because the Tigers had not played this team in this new season, they had no idea what to expect from this well-groomed team.
“I thought we would play well. We knew it would be tough but we normally play well against tough competition so I was optimistic,” said head coach Craig Swannack.
While this prediction gave the team a very positive outlook on the then upcoming tough game throughout the week, nothing could have prepared them for the Rangers.
But the impending threat of playing a team with a great season can also take its toll, which could explain the 70-55 final score of this unfortunate game.
“I felt like everything we learned from other games was increased because we knew we were playing the fifth ranked team,” senior Jacob Hafner said, “so I knew we had to play our best.”
Increased intensity during a close competition can be game defining – and certainly gave Dripping Springs the boost of confidence that they needed for this game.
This kind of thinking is what undoubtedly helped the Tigers in the first half of the game – when Dripping Springs only trailed by five points.
“It was encouraging because they are a really good team and now we know we are on the cusp of greatness,” said junior Cullen Young.
Positive outlooks like this can have tremendous implications on how players compete in the rest of the game.
A perspective that kept the score of the game close until the last quarter of the game.
“I don’t think I was ever nervous but we knew we were playing one of the best teams in the state, so when they started playing well in the third quarter it didn’t come as a surprise,” Swannack said.
Although this game was closer than expected, something that should give each and every player a huge boost of confidence, there are always things that can be improved upon in preparation for the other approaching games.
“Being consistent throughout games,” said Hafner, “Sometimes we have little four or five minute stretches where we don’t play our hardest and that affects the game throughout.”
Coach Swannack, agreeing with the rest of the team, also has some improvements that he would like to see the team work on before the playoff season begins.
“Taking care of the basketball for sure,” said Swannack, “we play amazing offense and defense during games but if we work on this it would make us so much stronger.”
Improvements like these will only help the team in reaching their ultimate goals. Aspirations that include competing in the regional games and hopefully going to the state championship soon thereafter.
“They make us compete better because we’re all striving to make it to and thrive in playoffs,”Young said.
Players now give their all each and every time they step onto the court because of the goals that were set up before the season had even began. A tool that will only help the team move that much closer to their objective.
And with the 11-10 Tiger’s next game being against the 12-10 Vandegrift Vipers, the Dripping Springs varsity team will become that much closer to their ultimate goal.
This highly anticipated away game against the Vipers will be played on Friday, January 15, and both the coaches and players are very excited about it.
“I think the guys are really ready for tonight. Anytime you lose a game it makes you hungrier, so I believe that everyone is ready,” Swannack said.