The Ellison Eagles are in final preparations this week before making a trip to San Antonio to take a shot at a state basketball title.
In an open practice Tuesday, the team members took shots and ran some conditioning drills in front of local media.
Following a pep rally Wednesday, the team travels to San Antonio to prepare for their Thursday 5A state semifinal matchup against Mansfield Summit. Tipoff at the Alamodome is 8:30 p.m.
Ellison’s superstar guard Jamyron Keller and head coach Alberto Jones both said they want to enjoy the moment, but also said they want more.
“We’re going to be greedy,” said Jones, explaining that the team is locked-in, focused on winning two more games and claiming a state championship.
Now the Ellison Eagles’ all-time leading scorer, Keller said getting to the state tournament has been his goal since he first stepped on the high school court more than three years ago.
Jones, the school’s winningest basketball coach, said that halfway through last season, he could see the potential for the 2023 team to go all the way.
In five playoff games this season, Ellison has not been seriously challenged, averaging a 24.8-point margin of victory.
Keller said Coach Jones and the team are naturally competitive and are always motivated to finish strong. Jones said the team has made it a point to set goals even when the score is not close.
The Eagles enter the state tournament ranked second statewide. They have been high in the rankings all season.
“We try not to worry about expectation, but just focus on getting better every game,” said Jones.
“We’re not trying to prove anything to anyone except ourselves,” Keller said.
“We need to be the team we know we can be,” he said.
Staying focused on the goal should not be a problem Thursday as the Eagles attempt to collect KISD’s first-ever boys basketball state championship.
Ellison last advanced to the state semifinals back in 1993.
Their current record is 37-3, and they have won 25 straight.
They face 11th-ranked Mansfield Summit, coached by former Shoemaker coach Edmund Prichett, who graduated from Ellison and played alongside Jones. They are 34-4.
To follow the action, tune in to FM MY 95.1.