The basketball powerhouse
By: Marcus Carr
MANSFIELD— Three state title appearances in the last three years, one state championship and a 201-21 record over that time. The boys and girls basketball program at Mansfield Timberview High School has formed itself into one of the most consistent powerhouses in the state of Texas.
The Timberview boys captured a state championship in 2017, the girls were the state runner-up in 2017 and 2018. Both programs translated the success into the 2019 season, the Wolves are ranked No. 3 in 5A (31-2) and the Lady Wolves are ranked No.1 in 5A (32-2).
The basketball powerhouses have produced multiple Division I athletes over the course of this run, and continue to do so as the Lady Wolves have five players headed to a Division I university.
Duane Gregory, Wolves head coach, and Kit Martin, Lady Wolves head coach, have instilled a lockdown defense mentality into their players throughout this success.
“I’ve been here for 15 years and it’s [the message to the team] has always been defense and rebounding,” said Gregory, “What’s taken us to the next level is the team’s ability to share the ball and that makes you a hard team to beat.”
The Wolves suffered an upset loss in the third round of playoffs last year to Midlothian High School and lost two key components to their team in Isaac Likekele and Chris Mullins. But, Gregory believes that the team has stepped up to the challenge and stuck together throughout this season to get where they are.
The Wolves set a school record starting 19-0 defeating some of the toughest opponents at the beginning of the season that they’ll likely see again in the playoffs.
Martin picked up her 600th career win this season and it could be credited to her “lucky” silver cup that she takes to every game. She began the tradition 23 years ago when her coaching career first began, after a firefighter gifted it to her. She uses it to keep her water ice cold throughout each game.
The silver cup might have something to do with the success but she sends an important message to her program day in and day out.
“We know that we are a very good defensive team, and we can score at anytime but there are going to be nights where you don’t shoot it well and you have to be able to defend,” Martin said. “ I think both us and the guys are very good at being strong defensive basketball teams and that puts you in a lot of ball games.”
The Lady Wolves defeated Eastern Hills and Grapevine in their first two playoff games by a combined score of 150-56. They continued their hot streak defeating Braswell on Monday 68-46. The team will travel to West Texas College for their fourth round playoff game Friday to face Copper High School.
The Wolves handled Arlington Heights on Monday night winning 75-48. They will travel to Colleyville Heritage High School for the second round of the playoffs on Friday to face Little Elm High School.
Both teams look to bring a state title back to Mansfield in March.