The Tuloso-Midway Warriors varsity boys basketball team competed in the Pride of Texas tournament last weekend, finishing with one win and two losses. Despite the losses, Warrior's forward Grant Wilson said his team is ready for district play.
"We're not as much concerned with wins and losses at this point as we are just getting ready for district," Wilson said. "Our big focus this year is just to win a championship. It'd be nice to have 20 wins, but at the end of the year we want to be district champs, bi-district, area, something like that."
The Warriors' first opponent in the tournament was the Taft Greyhounds. The first quarter remained close due to low scoring on both sides early on before T-M went on a 6-0 run in the last 1:30 to take a 12-5 lead.
The Warriors went on a 12-0 scoring run to open up the second quarter. Three T-M players, Matt Willoughby, Dobie Craig and Wilson, hit three-point shots in the quarter.
The Greyhounds didn't hit a shot until 5:51 left in the half. Taft also had a rough time at the free throw line, going only 3-8 in the first half. By halftime, the Warriors led, 35-16. Wilson had 11 points in the first half.
The third quarter was much more tightly contested, but Taft failed to gain any ground on T-M's lead. The Warriors finished the quarter strong and continued to remain in control, 35-16.
In the fourth, T-M outscored the Greyhounds 7-5, winning the game 62-30 and advancing to the quarterfinals.
Wilson led the Warriors in scoring with 21 points. Jeremy Brittain had 11 and Josh Stephens finished with 10 points.
While satisfied with the win, Wilson said that there was a definite jump in difficulty when they faced their next opponent in the tournament, the B.F. Terry Rangers.
"We started off against Taft, and that was kind of an easy opponent," Wilson said. "But then we got to play B.F. Terry and they're a really tough team."
T-M faced the Rangers early Friday afternoon. Within the first minute of the game, the Warriors found themselves down 0-8, but soon found a comfortable rhythm and pulled themselves within a point after a 7-0 scoring run.
Terry faltered, but never panicked and soon used their size to push past the Warrior defense gain a comfortable 25-17 lead over the host team. However, a last-second three-pointer by Willoughby at the end of the first made it a two-possession game.
"We don't have a lot of size as far as like 6'6" or 6'8", but we're all about 6'1" or 6'2" ans we're all pretty versatile," Wilson said. "We all handle the ball pretty well, so we get it around. That's our game."
In the second, the Rangers started to press the Warriors, slowing the game down for most of the quarter, allowing Terry to outscore T-M 13-7. By halftime, the Rangers held a 43-27 lead.
Terry continued to hold T-M's offense in the third, but the Warriors began to find ways around the press in the last 90 seconds of the quarter, cutting the lead by three to trail 41-54.
"We emphasized working on the press the last couple of weeks in practice, and I think we've gotten a lot better at handling it," Wilson said.
T-M continued to whittle down Terry's lead in the fourth, going on a 6-0 run to pull within seven points.
Terry continued to attack the basket, however, and refused to let the Warriors come all the way back. In the end, the Rangers won the game 68-59 to advance to the semifinals to take on the South San Antonio Bobcats.
Wilson was the Warrior's high scorer with 17 points. Willoughby had 11, including three three-point shots and Bobby Southard had 10 points.
"Actually, we had them right where we wanted them because we kknew that they were probably going to be leading most of the game," Wilson said. "We were going to pull our trap out and get a couple of turnovers, which we did. We got a couple of steals, layups and threes (out of it)."
T-M's next game was played late Friday night against the San Antonio Burbank Bulldogs. The winner of the game would go on to play for fifth place.
The Warriors began the game well enough, holding a 13-10 lead after the first quarter, but soon found themselves trailing 27-18 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Burbank outscored T-M 13-6. By the end of the game, the Bulldogs came away with a 62-38 victory.
Wilson led his team with 11 points. He said the Warriors were exhausted going into their final game.
"Very (tired)," Wilson said. "Not even as much physically tired as emotionally tired. We took on B.F. Terry, we had packed stands, and we just fought with all that we had. We had nothing left, you know?"
The Warriors start district play this Friday with a road game against the Alice Coyotes. The game will start at 8:00 p.m.
T-M's next home game will be against the Kingsville Brahmas on Tuesday, Jan. 5.