For highschool groups it may be simple at occasions to permit issues to spiral uncontrolled when issues get rocky. A 4 recreation dropping streak, which included an 0-3 displaying on the Stu Clark Event gave the Dons each alternative to spiral and lose what started as a promising season. Whereas the top of 2022 was not superb, as soon as the calendar flipped to 2023 the Dons perhaps discovered one thing new and started successful basketball video games, coming into this weekend’s Hope Christian Event on a 3 recreation successful streak with victories over Sandia Prep on the highway and again to again residence wins over Thoreau and Cottonwood Classical Prep.
“If you’re younger and also you’re battling you’re additionally studying methods to win and studying to imagine that you would be able to win,” WLV head coach David Bustos stated. “Generally you will be shut, you lose by one or by two, you’re within the recreation however don’t discover a approach to win, however I believe the Sandia Prep recreation opened their eyes slightly bit and so they found out methods to win.”
Of the three victories, the one over Sandia Prep was inarguably the most important one. The Sundevils have been one of many persistently excellent groups in AAA in recent times, persistently discovering themselves deep within the playoffs and in state championship video games. For the Dons, whereas they have been sputtering to go on the highway and work out methods to win that recreation was a large consequence for the arrogance of this staff.
“It was like that they had received a championship of some kind as a result of the youngsters hadn’t actually felt that earlier than to win a recreation like that,” Bustos stated. “It was a giant win little doubt, particularly on the highway, that’s the opposite key a part of it. To exit on the highway and do it was large for us.”
The Dons adopted up their huge highway win with two comfy residence victories over Thoreau and Cottonwood which have them driving excessive heading into the Hope Christian Event, their remaining tuneup earlier than district play. The Hope Christian Event options the hardest bracket of any of the event’s the Dons have performed on this season. The phrase of the weekend for the Dons is enchancment. They open the event towards the hosts Hope Christian and will likely be dealing with at the least another 4A college in the course of the weekend. The Dons additionally noticed place to begin guard Enrique Gonzales endure an ankle damage towards Thoreau which suggests junior Aldo Hartman will likely be thrust into the beginning position in the intervening time, and he will likely be examined this weekend.
“Now we have to attempt to proceed to enhance, work on our weaknesses and proceed to develop our strengths,” Bustos stated. “We had a loss with (Gonzales) however now we now have to be in that subsequent man up mode and we have to rely on Aldo to step into that position.”
Coming into the season the Dons anticipated to be an inside dominant staff with publish gamers Jonathon Gonzales and PJ Montano being relied upon closely to hold the scoring load. Oftentimes that has been the case, however one man that has actually stepped up for the Dons this season is senior ahead Lance Schmidt. Schmidt provides the Dons a needed capturing presence on the perimeter, but it surely’s his well timed playmaking that has been a pleasing shock for Bustos this season. Schmidt didn’t play quite a lot of varsity basketball previous to this season, however he has rapidly made himself an indispensable a part of the Dons.
“He has actually come out of his shell, he’s speaking, yelling, smiling, however he’s all the time critical on the ground,” Bustos stated. “He simply does so many issues for us and he’s beginning to turn out to be a frontrunner on the ground and I believe the youngsters look as much as him.”
The Hope Christian Event supplies the ultimate tuneup alternative for the Dons forward of District 2-AAA play. As soon as the Dons depart Albuquerque for good on Saturday their focus instantly turns to their district opener once they welcome Raton to the Gillie Lopez Gymnasium on Jan. 17. The Dons sputtered on the finish of 2022, however as soon as the calendar turned the Dons started successful video games as soon as once more, and simply in time for district play.