Athens Review, Athens, Texas

February 9, 2013


LaPoynor boys ready to show state what they are made of during playoffs

Joe Elerson
The Athens Review

LARUE — A top 15 ranking for the LaPoynor Flyers basketball has them in prime position for another deep playoff run.

Coach Dean Nuckolls’ Flyers (24-5) are currently ranked No. 11 in the state by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.

The Flyers have relied on the services of four seniors this year in Justin Street, Ashton Abendroth, team captains Deon Johnson and Logan McClelland.

“It has been a pleasure,” Nuckolls said. “These four guys have been together since elementary school and they are very good friends. They take care of business and come to practice every day and work their butts off.”

McClelland said losing in the Region 3-1A, Division 1 quarterfinals to No. 1 ranked Clarksville was a tough pill to swallow.

He said this year, the team is looking for the ultimate prize in the playoffs.

“We would like to have a district championship,” McClelland said. “I would like to come out and show the state that we are not some small 1A school that comes to the third round every year and loses out.”

Johnson said working with his fellow seniors has been a strongpoint this year.

“It has been very good to help them out and keep them going this year,” Johnson said. “Working with Ashton he brings speed to the court and he will go and get the ball wherever it is.”

McClelland said learning from Coach Nuckolls during his high school year’s has made him a better athlete this season.

“It has been good because I don’t think it would have been as well anywhere else,” McClelland. “He helps us out a lot more than I think anybody else would. He puts a lot of time in with us not just during the week but also on weekends.”

Nuckolls said losing this senior class will be tough for him because they do everything that he asks of them during practices.

“They do exactly what I ask of them and they give their best every single day,” Nuckolls said. “It is a great group and graduation is going to be a very sad day.”

The bond players gain playing for so many years is the fact that they can trust each other in any situation.

McClelland said that is true when it comes to playing at LaPoynor with his fellow seniors.

“It has been a lot of the past because we have all played together since elementary,” McClelland said. “We have known each other for so long and we know what everybody brings and we don’t have to worry about if they will do something wrong when we give them the ball.”

Nuckolls said losing these seniors leadership will be something he hopes to find next season.

“The leadership is amazing with this group,” Nuckolls said. “I have some young kids that need some strong leaders and this group right here has definitely stepped up to the occassion. They will be greatly missed and I hope we can fill their shoes next year.”