Tomorrow night will see the Nixon boys basketball team experience a little déjà vu, back in the sweet 16 and facing the same team they defeated in 2016.
The Mustangs are gearing up to face off with Austin LBJ in the regional semifinals Friday night and while some just see the results on the court, Nixon players say this work started back in hot summer hours.
"We did a lot of crossfit during the summer and we'd have two a days, so we'd come back in the afternoon and work on our game whether that was inside or outside we just really worked hard. It was good for us, it helped build muscle and really helped us out." (Roger Vasquez, Nixon Center)
Those long hours paid off not only in getting the mustangs in physical shape but also in their minds as well and that both combine to fuel their frantic style on the court.
"It was hot, we were taught to be mentally strong and always pushing no matter what." (LJ Herrera, Nixon Point Guard)
"Always at halftime we are ready to go. We know we are ready for the 2nd half. We're ready to run every quarter and just beat'em." (Joel Pena, Nixon Forward)
One other big benefit was going through those long hours together and anyone that has been around this program has seen one word associated with the team, Brotherhood, but that idea goes much further than being a slogan on a t-shirt or banner.
"It's just being a family, we're 2nd brothers or even blood brothers. We're just always there for each other no matter what." (Herrera)
"It's a family that we have, no one can break us and no one can beat us like that." (Pena)
Now that bond will be tested as they are within sight of their ultimate goal with just two more wins.
"It would be special for our program and our team, just to see that hard work pay off would be great for us." (Vasquez)
"We've got this, we know we can win and we just have one goal. We just want to win the game and go to state. That's our main goal." (Pena)
Friday night will see the mustangs and jaguars tipping off at six from Northside ISD’s gym. Meanwhile across town it's Alexander in the 6A regionals taking on another Austin team, Lake Travis.