TownTalk Sports takes a look at the Tahoka Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs Basketball Squads
What some thought could’ve been a good run in the football playoffs for the Tahoka Bulldogs proved to not happen. The Bulldogs have rolled out the basketballs a lot earlier than anticipated, however, look for them to be strong. Tahoka was able to reach the playoffs last season as the fourth place seed out of District 5-2A and lost in the first round to McCamey 75-64, who went on to lose in the Region I Semi-finals to the eventual State Champs, Stinnett West Texas. Sharing a district with Morton, Plains, Seagraves, Smyer and Sundown, the Bulldogs were sure to go through a gauntlet to reach the playoffs.
Their district record was 7-3 with an overall 7-15. Needless to say, that the losing record did not really show who they can be and become. After the UIL realigned everyone in February, Tahoka found themselves in the exact same district minus Morton, because they fell to 1A. There will only be one team that doesn’t reach the playoff this season, and I’m thinking it won’t be Tahoka. However, this is still a tough district athletically and of course rivalries that have sparred for several decades.
The Bulldogs graduated one starter from last years squad, Kevin White. However, Tahoka has added a new coach. Coach Lonnie Burnam comes into Tahoka with experience that ranges from 2A to 4A, and he is excited about what can be done with the Bulldogs. Coach Burnam said,
“This is my first year in Tahoka. When I was at Smyer for 8 years and Tahoka was always my toughest competition in district, so I know the kids love the game and will play hard.”
There are six players that are returning from last season, Sr. Nic Arce, Jr. Aaron Olivan, Jr. Andrew Saldana, Jr. Tristan Stice, Jr. Braden Stone, Jr. Cameron Tekell. With these six returners, there are six newcomers, Sr. Chris Guttierez, Sr. Ryan Scoggin, Jr. Christian Briones, Jr. Malik Hamilton, So. Nate Castillo, and So. Soul Moore. The Bulldogs should have great depth throughout the season, even if there is an injury, Tahoka should be good to go. Coach Burnam also told TownTalk Sports,
“The expectations are very high for this season. Experience and team culture should be a major factor in the success of the team. Braden Stone will be the leader of the team and always works hard enough to set the tone for how we play.”
Look for the Bulldogs to wreak havoc during pre-district, tournaments and of course district. Also, watch how they might win a district title when its all said and done.
TAHOKA LADY BULLDOGS
Girls high school basketball in Region I, or mainly west of Abilene has always been a force to be reckoned with. There are more girls high school basketball state titles that come from this region than there are any other types of state titles for any other sports in the State of Texas. Of course, the Lady Bulldogs of Tahoka are smack dab in the middle of it. Like the boys of District 5-2A, the girl’s side is more challenging. In the past 20 seasons, the five girls teams of Plains, Seagraves, Smyer, Sundown, and Tahoka have racked up 63 playoff spots with 122 playoff wins, six State Tourney appearances and four State Titles. Guess what? It will continue and the Lady Bulldogs could upend someone’s season.
The Lady Bulldogs ended last season in the Area Round of the playoffs to Christoval 48-33 and had a 15-14 overall record and a 4-6 district record. However, don’t let that discourage you because remember the info I gave in the last paragraph. The Lady Bulldogs are poised to make another playoff run, and most likely a stronger one.
The Lady Bulldogs are loaded this season with Seniors Aly Dotson, Tamya Stroope, who was All-District last year, and Alyssa Rodriguez with all three of them taking on the leadership role and according to Coach Kyle Johnson, they have done a great job so far. The other 2 starters are Juniors Nadalie Carrasco and Kenzie Parks. All 5 of these girls were on Varsity last season and will bring back a significant amount of experience. Coach Johnson said,
“We feel our strengths will be our quickness and outside shooting. Our concern will be our lack of size. We feel we will be competitive in District.”
The Lady Bulldogs will be a contender for the District Title.