The regional basketball tournament will feature a pair of Laredo teams including the guys from Nixon as they look to make their way back to the elite eight and exercise some demons as well.
When the final buzzer sounded Tuesday night at the Sames Auto Arena, it was the Mustangs arm raised in victory as they made the jump from the ranks of 5A teams to the biggest classification in the state and went about their business as usual.
"It feels great to be the only 6A team left in this tournament still. I know coming from 5A to 6A was a big jump for us but we just proved a bunch of people wrong and we're going to keep proving them wrong." (JC Ayala, Nixon SG)
"We proved some people wrong but it's not about what other people think about you, you just have to keep playing hard." (AJ Melendez, Nixon SG)
"It's just nice being able to accomplish our goal which is to get to the Sweet 16 twice, and just proving the doubters wrong I guess and just playing team basketball.” (LJ Herrera, Nixon PG)
This marks the second trip in a row to the regional semifinals for Nixon and the 3rd time in the past four years. They are banking on that experience helping them out this weekend.
"Not many people have been there, unlike us we were there last year also, so we know what to expect and how to play." (Ayala)
"We have a couple guys returning, so it helps out the experience helps us and God willing we win in the elite eight this time." (Herrera)
Their last two trips to regional tournament ended in loses in the elite eight, especially last year when they were blitzed by Alamo Heights, a game they are hoping serves them well this time around.
"We don't think of it as a loss but as lesson and a teaching point, so we're just trying to improve from that moment and we are focused on moving and trying to get better from it." (Ayala)
This weekend they are hoping to us those lessons of the past combined with their frantic style in an attempt to be the first Laredo team in over 60 years to make the final four.
"We play the run and gun style, just fast throughout the entire game and hitting shots would be a good reason why we would win." (Herrera)
"Our mindset is to keep playing hard and going hard in every single game and keeping that fast pace and keep on winning." (Melendez)