Progress staff reports
Jacksonville Daily Progress
Three of the area's high school basketball teams have started the new year ranked in the latest Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Poll, which was revealed late Monday.
The Brook Hill Hill Guard are the the only area boys team to ascend to the lofty perch.
The Guard (11-10), who are coming off of a laugher over T.K. Gorman on Saturday, checked in at No. 12 in the TAPPS Private School-Small poll.
The Guard was ranked in the top 10 of the poll in November and December, but a brutal schedule to close 2013 did adversely affect the team's record. But in the long run, that was exactly what Brook Hill needed overall, according to Dawkins.
The Guard closed out 2013 by playing in the Tatum tournament and in the Wagstaff Classic. Most of the Guard's action in both events came against higher classification UIL teams.
“We feel very fortunate to be over .500 (winning percentage) after who all our kids have played,” Brook Hill head coach Wally Dawkins said. “It's always been my philosophy to play up in non-district to discover your teams' weaknesses. Regardless of your record, you are better prepared to have a chance to be successful in district if you have played teams that stretch you.”
Brook Hill will open league play at home Friday against Dallas First Baptist. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Herrington Gymnasium.
Two girls clubs are ranked this week.
Bullard's Lady Panthers, who are off to an impressive 17-5 start on the year, are slotted No. 12 in the Class 3A poll.
And finally, the Wells Lady Pirates (17-3) debuted at No. 19 in the Class 1A-II listing.