The Chico Dragons ended more than a decade-long playoff drought last season.
With a 3-0 start to District 11-A play, the Dragons are now setting their sights on a return to the postseason.
Chico went into a showdown Tuesday for the district lead against seventh-ranked Poolville.
“We’re playing well,” said Chico coach Chad Woodard. “The kids have bought into what we want to do and picked things up. Poolville will be a challenge. But we’re in good shape. If we could pull off a win, we’d be in the driver’s seat on our own.”
The play in district is a turnaround from the start of the season. After graduating their three leading scorers from last year, Chico started the year 5-11.
“It’s the right time to start playing well,” Woodard said. “We want to get back to the playoffs.”
Chico began district with a 73-72 win over Ranger and followed that with a 67-59 victory over Santo.
“That was a big win for us,” Woodard said.
Santo beat Chico in a district playoff game last February.
Chico took down Perrin-Whitt Jan. 14 before its bye Friday.
Chris Gilmore has been the catalyst for the Dragons during their 3-0 district start. He’s averaged 22.3 points in district, including his 31-point outburst against Santo.
“He’s shooting well and playing with a lot of confidence,” Woodard said. “He’s getting better each time on the court.”