SPORTS HEADLINES

Basketball: Texans open year at No. 1

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, November 11, 2017
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After making the state tournament for the first time last season, the Northwest Texans set a high bar and even higher expectations.

READY FOR CHALLENGE – Northwest and Avery Anderson open the season Saturday against Denton Guyer. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

With a majority of the lineup returning, including leading scorer Avery Anderson, and the addition of UT-Arlington signee Mason Hix, the Texans begin this season ranked No. 1 in 5A in the preseason Texas Association of Basketball Coaches poll.

“It’s a cool honor. The kids have handled it great,” said Northwest coach Mike Hatch. “It’s really meaningless until we start playing games. We want to be No. 1 in March, not November.”

The Texans went 33-6 last year on the way to reaching the 5A semifinals. Fort Bend Marshall beat the Texans 82-59 in the first game of the state tournament.

“Our kids are not satisfied,” Hatch said. “They want to get back and win it.

“You can see in our practices they are driven to be as good as they can be.”

Anderson, the 6-5A MVP and Wise County Offensive Player of the Year, averaged 20.5 points per game last year as a sophomore to go along with 3.7 assists.

He is back with sophomore Julien Smith, who chipped in 10.9 points per game last year as a freshman.

Northwest will get an immediate test, facing the No. 2 team in 6A, Denton Guyer, at 5:15 p.m. Saturday in the Cowtown Tip-Off at North Crowley.

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