After a miraculous run to the state Division IV semi-finals a season ago, the Tempe Prep men’s basketball team will look to continue their winning ways this winter. The Knights will inevitably be losing several key seniors from last year, who played crucial parts in what was the most successful season in the team’s history.
Yet TPA coach Mr. Lambros remains confident, and insists that the “team is not rebuilding but instead they are just reloading. The foundation was set last year and now it is time to take that knowledge and skill to the next level.”
His star point guard, senior Luke Sandoval, also acknowledges the benefit of last season’s playoff journey, and how current players are more than capable to fill the roles of departed seniors. Concerning the postseason run, Sandoval said that “it provided us with a new hope for future years as well as the experience and poise to again reach and do damage in the playoffs this year.”
In terms of play on the court, defense will once again be emphasized above all else for the Knights. Coach Lambros noted that this facet of the game served as the crucial factor in TPA’s state playoff success, and that it “will carry us even further this year.”
The Knights also know that another triumphant season will not result from relying solely on one player to carry the team. Coach Lambros believes that he will “need all the players to step up”—and for each member of the team to do his part—“in order to help us make our run in the state playoffs.” Sandoval echoed his coach’s sentiment, saying “no matter freshman or senior, we all have to lead in order for us to play as a team.”
Throughout the course of the 2013-2014 season, Tempe Prep will face a slew of tough opponents. In addition to the regularly competitive matchups against fellow Great Hearts schools, the team will also be eager to avenge last year’s season-ending loss, squaring off against Joy Christian in early February. But despite the difficulties this season may present, Sandoval feels that as long as the Knights “play as a team, we have the power to challenge anyone for the championship.”
*Published on November 26th.