Going into the final six games of the varsity basketball season, the Santaluces Chiefs boys basketball team have their eyes set onto something important: a Class 9A-10 district title.
For the Chiefs, a district title would mark the team’s first since 2015-16, where the Chiefs finished 10-2 in the district. This season, the Chiefs have carried strong chemistry to an 8-0 record in the district with just two district games remaining.
“The kids not losing their composure, playing together, doing it together,” coach Dixon said about the team’s play in those district games. “that’s a big key that I have stressed from day one.”
The Chiefs undefeated district record has not been threatened for a while, in large part to a strong defense that allows just 59 points per game. Even when the offense has struggled to score, the defense has carried a large part of the load.
“I have stressed it from day one that we have to play defense,” Dixon said. “the offense will come, if we stop the opponent from scoring than that’s to our advantage.”
While the Chiefs have struggled in tournaments, finishing their tournaments without a win, Dixon believes that these tournaments will help humble a Chiefs team that currently sits at 14-4 and riding a 6-game win streak.
“We have not been at our best [in tournament games],” Dixon said. “We came out and played sluggish. Those games eventually will help, good losses humble us and put us back on track.”
Despite the strong district record and current district lead, the Chiefs are not focused on watching the standings and rather focused on their preparation and execution during games.
“I’ll take a look at it to see what everyone else is doing but it’s all on us,” Dixon said. “We hold our own key, if we play basketball than we’ll be fine in the district.”
Throughout the season, the Chiefs have seen sustained success from a duo of juniors in Chance Dixon and Kemari Brown. Brown currently leads the Chiefs in scoring with 14 points per game and has also hauled in five rebounds a game, which is near the top. Dixon currently ranks third in points per game with eight.
“The future for both is bright, as well for the other juniors we have” Dixon said. “I really think this team hasn’t hit it’s peak yet.”
To finish the season, the Chiefs will matchup against two district opponents (Park Vista and Boca Raton) and will battle the Forest Hill Falcons – who are currently 20-1 and are currently one of the favorites to win a state championship – near the end of the season.