Brownfield Cubs & Lady Cubs Basketball Preview

The Cubs

In the 2015-2016 basketball season, not many would have thought that the Brownfield Cubs would win a District Title, let alone a State Title.  Well, the many were proven wrong! As the Cubs have rolled out the basketballs, there is a sense of winning in the atmosphere again. The Cubs got a late spark in last seasons district showcase and was able to clinch a playoff birth with a 4-6 district record.  Now don’t let their 14-17 overall record from last season deter you from believing in the Cubs. Before Brownfield won the 3A State Title in 2016, UIL had already realigned the classes and districts. In fact, it was about a month and a half before the Cubs stepped on to the basketball court in San Antonio when they found out that they would be moved up in a class.

In 2016 the Cubs moved into District 2-4A with Denver City, Lamesa, Levelland,  Lubbock Estacado, and  Seminole, which some folks felt the Indians should’ve been with Andrews, Greenwood, and others. However, I digress. In this newly formed district 2-4A, all six schools went to the playoffs the year before racking up a combined 19 playoff wins, two State Tourney appearances, and one State Title. So… I’m inclined to believe for two years that District 2-4A was the toughest men’s basketball district in class 4A in the state of Texas, hands down, completely true! That’s why no one should criticize the Cubs efforts while playing some of the best schools in the state.

Let’s take a quick look at the new season and district that Brownfield has the privilege of dealing with. Number one, the Cubs have a deep 12 player bench that can tear it up on the court when needed. With eight players that are 6’1″ or more, there is a lot of wingspan and great rebounding opportunities, in which Sr. Jeronimo “Mo” Quintanilla has been a force at rebounding and allowing those rebounds to turn into points, whether those points were putbacks or defensive. The Cubs are also senior heavy with 9 of the 12. When asked about who would be the leader and be reliable, Coach Steve Rhoades had this to say,

“I’ve got 12 kids on this team and we’re 12 deep, we believe all these kids can contribute in some way or fashion.”

Coach Rhoades believes that each one on the team has their strengths and it adds to the flow of the game. From offense to the defense he feels that they will perform very well.

This season will be much different as far as the district in the past. When UIL realigned, Brownfield dropped to 3A, however, they were placed in an eight-team district which consists of five playoff qualifiers from last season. Abernathy, Idalou, Littlefield, Shallowater and of course Brownfield. Denver City, Lubbock Roosevelt, and Slaton did not make a postseason appearance this past season and that doesn’t mean that they were weak. When talking with Coach Rhoades about the eight-team district, it was asked if he had to do a few things differently because the schedule has the Cubs beginning district play on December 18th, and he said,

“It does, it does a little bit. We are going to take off the 14th (Dec.), we normally would play that game, but we’re not going to play a game on the 14th so that we can have our legs fresh for 18th. This will give us some more gym time and practice. It doesnt make the tournament season as important now.”

When the Cubs get back from the Christmas break and the Monahans Shoot-Out, their first home game will be Shallowater. Right now the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) has Shallowater ranked #9 and Brownfield #12 in the state. Last season the Cubs met up with Shallowater in the Andrews Shoot-Out and lost by three points to the Mustangs, who eventually lost in the Regional Finals to Brock.

The schedule of 14 district games will be tough, especially in one of the toughest 3A districts in the state. The Cubs will begin district play at Roosevelt on Dec. 18th then go to Littlefield on Dec.21st. The Cubs will take a break and join the Monahans Shoot-Out Dec. 27th – 29th. After the new year and about six weeks of not being at home, the Cubs take on Shallowater on Jan. 4th. They go to Abernathy on Jan. 8th and then have two back to back home games against Idalou Jan. 11th & Slaton Jan. 15. On Jan. 18th they hit the road again against arch-rival Denver City, and they get another back to back home games against Roosevelt Jan. 22nd & Littlefield Jan. 25th. The Cubs will then head north to Shallowater Jan 29th. Moving into the February stretch, the Cub take on Abernathy at home on Feb. 1st. They will then go on back to back road games to Idalou Feb. 5th & Slaton Feb. 8th and the Cubs will finish up district at home against Denver City.

When asked to Senior Guard Zach Muniz, what is his expectations this year he said,

“I’m looking forward to everybody giving 110% every single game, thats all we can really do. It should all play-out itself.”

Speaking with some of the team members, the Cubs seem to have a grasp of humility coming into this season. Perhaps a sense of accomplishment already with how the team is meshing. Look forward to the Cubs taking Region I 3A by storm and doing it with class.

 

The Lady Cubs

The Lady Cubs have not fared well over the past two seasons. The last time the Lady Cubs were in 3A they made it to the second round and met up with #6 Shallowater and only lost by 11 points. When the UIL realignments came around, the Lady Cubs were boosted up to 4A. Again a district full of lots of competition. Just like the boys, every team that was placed in District 2-4A all went to the playoffs the year before racking up 17 playoff wins. In the first of two seasons in 4A, Brownfield clinched a playoff birth and fell to Bushland 53-35.  Last season the Lady Cubs did not do as well going 0-10 in district and 4-25 overall.

Now the Lady Cubs are back in 3A and again placed in, arguably, the toughest girls 3A district in the state. This list of teams in District 2-3A is like a “Who’s Who” of perennial powers, Abernathy, Denver City, Idalou, Littlefield, Lubbock Roosevelt, Shallowater, Slaton and of course the Lady Cubs of Brownfield.  Six of the eight teams went to the playoff last season with a total of 13 playoff wins and one State Tourney qualifier. The Texas Association of Basketball Coaches has Idalou at #1 and Shallowater at #14. Also, everyone knows that Region I girls basketball in Texas is the most competitive in the nation.

The Lady Cubs are returning some experience with seniors Tori Elizardo, Serena Fisher, Taryn Longoria, Emma Powell, Dayna Romero, and Ketara Williams plus the returning juniors Tammaila Reed and Morgan Silva. Newcomers to the Lady Cubs bench are freshmen Gabi Fields, Lindsey Herrera, and Ashley Ramirez. Obviously eight girls with experience and three freshmen who obviously must be decent because they are on varsity. The one issue with the Lady Cubs is the district they compete in. They will have 14 games that will be brutal, very brutal.

The Lady Cubs begin district 12 days from now going to Slaton on Dec. 11th. They come back home for one game against Denver City on Dec.14th. They are a way for back to back games against Roosevelt Dec. 18th and Littlefield Dec. 21st. The Lady Cubs then get to enjoy the largest high school basketball tournament in the world by participating the Caprock Classic held in Lubbock on Dec. 27th – 29th. On January 4th, the Lady Cubs begin a ten game stretch at home against Shallowater. They go to Abernathy Jan. 8th and then back to back home games against Idalou Jan. 11th and Slaton Jan. 15th.  They then take a trip to DC on Jan. 18th and then again they get another back to back home games with Roosevelt Jan. 22nd and Littlefield Jan. 25th.  The next game will be at Shallowater on Jan. 29th, the home game against Abernathy Feb. 1 and finish district at Idalou Feb. 5th.

This is the thing, do not rule out this Lady Cub team. These girls fight hard and want to win and they want to be successful. Coach Wyatt has a team that has the potential to ruin a season for a team that its expectations are high.