Bob Hope sends squads to postseason tournament
Published 7:01 am Monday, February 17, 2020
The Bob Hope High School girls and boys basketball teams are heading to the Texas Christian Athletic League state tournaments, this time as seeded teams.
The boys, with a record of 16-19 and 6-3 in league play, are entering as the No. 2 seed, and the girls with a 6-22 record and 3-2 in the league, will be the No. 4 seed.
“This is our second year going and we’re at higher seeds than we were last year,” head girls coach Stephanie Jones said. “It means a lot because before the basketball team didn’t really go far at all in these past two years.”
“We weren’t supposed to go last year but we were invited just for the experience,” boys coach Lyndon Gilford said. “But this year they did the top six teams in the state and we’re No. 2 in our league right now, so we made it. We actually made it. We’ve never been this far and we have the most wins in school history right now so we’re just trying to keep it going.”
Jones attributes the better performance this year to a boost in talent on the roster with a few young players, including freshman Kimberly Galvan and sophomore Victoria Gutierrez. Seniors Esmeralda Cruz and Jacqueline Hernandez have also made big contributions, Jones said.
“Compared to last season this season was a big change,” Jones said. “We added on about six new players and they have made a difference on the team.”
Heading into the tournament, defense is going to keep the Lady Eagles going.
“We probably have the best defense in the league,” she said. “We shutdown teams a lot that usually score a lot of points, I always tell them defense wins championships. There’s two new teams we haven’t seen this year so the competition is going to be pretty heavy but if we do good playing our defense it shouldn’t be too much trouble for us.”
Gilford also says he has a strong roster of players this year including Yasuel Santiago Diaz, who is averaging 28 points a game and is a big part of why the Eagles are No. 2 right now.
“We have other key players, Joseph Ortiz, Aidyn Green who’s our big man who’s averaging a double double in the district. So, we’re just clicking all at the same time,” Gilford said. “My first year last year they really didn’t see the vision and this year we have new players. I have a great assistant coach that’s really helping me in different things like that.”
Gilford believes the Eagles can go all the way to the championships.
“I feel like we can make it to the state championship, to be frank with you, and I feel like we can win it,” he said. “We just have to stay focused and do what we need to do, take care of our business and don’t think about it, just be about it, that’s what I always say.”