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Good showing in road loss to Northeast has shorthanded Knights hopeful they can topple Travis in must-win game

Senior+Takai+Satberry+and+juniors+Rob+and+John+Wade+hope+to+knock+off+Travis+and+join+them+for+a+tie+for+fourth+place+in+the+district+standings.+Rob+Wade+said+in+order+to+win+the+Knights+%22just+gotta+play+hard+for+each+other+and+execute+our+game+plan.%22+Photo+by+Annabel+Winter.%0A
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On to the next one

Senior Takai Satberry and juniors Rob and John Wade hope to knock off Travis and join them for a tie for fourth place in the district standings. Rob Wade said in order to win the Knights

Senior Takai Satberry and juniors Rob and John Wade hope to knock off Travis and join them for a tie for fourth place in the district standings. Rob Wade said in order to win the Knights "just gotta play hard for each other and execute our game plan." Photo by Annabel Winter.

Annabel Winter

Senior Takai Satberry and juniors Rob and John Wade hope to knock off Travis and join them for a tie for fourth place in the district standings. Rob Wade said in order to win the Knights "just gotta play hard for each other and execute our game plan." Photo by Annabel Winter.

Annabel Winter

Annabel Winter

Senior Takai Satberry and juniors Rob and John Wade hope to knock off Travis and join them for a tie for fourth place in the district standings. Rob Wade said in order to win the Knights "just gotta play hard for each other and execute our game plan." Photo by Annabel Winter.

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Moral victories aren’t of much use when you are fighting for your playoff lives, but Friday night on the road, missing two starters and facing a scrappy, fast-breaking team on a hot streak, that’s exactly what the boys varsity team achieved.

With senior Jakob Broaders running the point and forward Rob Wade just missing a triple double, the Knights put themselves in position to beat Northeast for a second time this season.

“They’re one of the more athletic teams in our district,” Broaders said of the Raiders. “We match up well with them. We had to play more physical and strategize against their fast-paced game.”

It’s fun because it’s more challenging, and every game is a like playoff game at this point, but I can’t deny that we should be in a better position than we are right now in our district which is frustrating.”

— junior forward Rob Wade

In the first half, the Knights neutralized the Raiders’ full-court press by hitting open teammates with quick passes instead of trying to dribble through the pressure. The effective passing led to easy baskets for front-court players Wade, Takai Satberry and Alvino Carbajal. When Sam Werkenthin nailed a 3-pointer to end the third quarter, the Knight held a one-point lead.

In a critical stretch to start the fourth quarter, however, the Raiders scored eight straight points. In that stretch, the Raiders attacked the Knights in the paint on offense and on defense applied half-court pressure that disrupted the Knights’ rhythm.

“I think it sped up our offense and made our spacing bad,” said Rob Wade, who had an outstanding all-around game with 24 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.

The Knights rallied to within four, but could not get closer as the Raiders spread the court and killed the clock for a 70-63 win that gives the Raiders (6-3, 14-12) a split with the Knights (4-5, 13-13), plus a two-game lead in the district standings.

While the loss was tough to take, the Knights’ ability to compete gives them hope that they can topple fourth-place Travis on Tuesday and keep their district playoff hopes alive. Coach Daniel Fuentes had high praise for his team despite the loss.

“Guys stepped up,” Fuentes told Thomas Jones of the @statesman. “It makes it challenging having some players out, but I thought the guys played great. We had our chance.”

It’s unfortunate that we’re missing key players on our team, but I’m glad I was given the opportunity to show I can lead the team.”

— senior point guard Jakob Broaders

Fuentes had particular praise of Broaders, who scored 10 points and had four steals after being pressed into a prominent front court role with the absence of starting point guard Albert Garza and back-court leader Ed Johnson.

“It’s unfortunate that we’re missing key players on our team, but I’m glad I was given the opportunity to show I can lead the team, and finish my senior year off with accomplishments for myself and the team.”

Like his coach, Broaders is confident that the team has what it takes to topple Travis (5-4, 15-10) and move into a tie with the Rebels for fourth place in the district standings.

“We played as a team, and I feel we all trust each other more and we will improve on the parts we lacked against Northeast.”

Wade agreed and offered this insight as to the key of Tuesday’s game: “Lock up their key players and control the pace on offense and ATTACK THE BUCKET. That’s been our biggest issue offensively this year: pace and attack.”

Kennedy Weatherby
When his team needed him to step up, senior Jakob Broaders delivered with 10 points and 4 steals. Broaders told MacJournalism that most of his points came on fast-break opportunities. He credited his teammates for rebounding the ball, pushing it up the court and finding him in space where he could score. Photo by Kennedy Weatherby.

Wade said the Rebels are tough because they have added a capable assistant coach in Bo Williams, who has helped the Rebels exceed preseason expectations by beating second-place Dripping Springs, 56-47, in their own gym on Jan. 21.

“[Travis is] really scrappy and aggressive. They don’t have that much height but they make up for it with speed and physicality.”

The best way to overcome stress like this though is to just stay working hard in the gym and focus on one game at a time.”

— Rob Wade

It should be a great ball game, and for the Knights, it’s basically win or go home after the district season ends.

The Knights weren’t not expecting to be in this position, but Wade said the challenging district season has been a mix of fun and frustration.

“It’s fun because it’s more challenging and every game is a like playoff game at this point, but I can’t deny that we should be in a better position than we are right now in our district which is frustrating. The best way to overcome stress like this though is to just stay working hard in the gym and focus on one game at a time.”

The Knights and Rebels will battle on Tuesday night at Don Caldwell Gymnasium. The varsity tips off a 8 p.m. preceded by the JV game at 6:30 p.m. and the freshman game at 5:15 p.m.

The Blue Brigade will perform at halftime of the varsity game. If you liked the Super Bowl halftime show, you will enjoy this halftime show as the Blue Brigade will be dancing to two Jennifer Lopez songs, “On the Floor” and “Let’s Get Loud.”