The Louise Hornets’ (15-11, 4-6) first basketball playoff game in more than a decade will come against one of the toughest 2A teams in the state.
The Hornets bi-district matchup Tuesday night in Bloomington will pit them against the Port Aransas Marlins (24-10, 12-0), who are ranked 17 in the state according to the Texas Basketball Coaches Association.
As a non-football school, the Marlins have won 102 district games in a row and they’ve made three straight regional semifinals trips.
The task for the Hornets seems daunting, but the Marlins are not unbeatable. Port Aransas this year has a loss to Flatonia, who’s in the Hornets district. Port Aransas also had fits with another Hornets district opponent when they barely escaped the first round of the playoffs with a two-point win over Brazos.
“(We just need) to work as a team. (We can’t) get down at each and just keep playing (like we have),” Hornets junior guard Mathew Marek said.
This year has been special with Louise picking up a second district win, something they haven’t done in years. They picked up a playoff spot by winning four district games. A pair of wins over Shiner and Brazos.
The Hornets came up empty-handed against Weimar, Yorktown, and Flatonia, but those losses were good preparation for Port Aransas.
“What we have in our district, we’ve been able to see (their style) all-district long,” Hornets Coach Brian Blank said. “I don’t think it’s anything we haven’t seen before, but we’re going to have to play a great game.”
The calling card for the Hornets this year is playing tough-nosed defense along with making shots. In their games against the upper crust of their district, the shots didn’t fall.
At home with Brazos a couple of weeks ago, they had a braggie of three’s to help them pick up the win. On the road against Shiner, in the playoff clincher, it was a layup city.
Along with playing good defense, they’ll likely need a lot of three’s and layups if they want to extend their season and hold off the start of baseball another week.
“We’ve gotten shots and great looks (against the good teams) they just haven’t fallen for us,” Blank said. “I’m hoping we’ll get those same looks and they’ll fall for us. If we can get those shots to fall, we got a good chance.”
It’s a thrilling time. While the Marlins are a tough opponent, the playoffs have been missing in Louise for a long while and the road trip to Bloomington Tuesday night is welcomed.
“It’s a good (feeling) Marek said. “We’re all family out here and we enjoy being around each other.”
“The mood is great and the kids are excited, they’re excited to still be playing basketball,” Blank said.