By SCOTT TYLER
SLOCUM — The Slocum Mustangs have been waiting for their chance to start the playoffs.
That time has come tonight. The Mustangs face Roxton at 6:30 p.m. today at the University of Texas in Tyler in the Class A-Region III, Division II area round of the playoffs.
“I think we have a sense of relief that the playoffs are finally here,” Slocum head coach Jay Bruce said. “In a way, I felt that we went through the motions during district just waiting to get to the playoffs.
“We have been looking forward to this and I think we are ready to roll.”
Slocum (29-5) has been ranked No. 1 for the entire season in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class A, Division II poll. The Mustangs had a bi-district round bye after winning their district championship.
With the bye, Slocum was able to play a warmup game against Bland Monday night, a contest the Mustangs won 46-41.
“It was a really good game for us,” Bruce said. “Bland is the kind of team we are going to be seeing in the playoffs and we had to go through some adversity to win that one.”
Bruce called the game over Bland one of the better wins of the season for the Mustangs.
“We can build on that win now that we are starting the playoffs,” the Slocum head coach said.
The Mustangs face a Roxton team that defeated Sulpher Springs 70-41 Monday night in bi-district play. The Lions are led by point guard Alex Stevenson.
“He is probably one of the best players in the region,” Bruce said of Stevenson. “He is going to get a large percentage of their points. He is a good shooter and gets to the rim.”
Bruce said the key against the Roxton point guard would be not to give him any easy points.
“We are going to have to make him work hard for everything he gets,” Bruce said. “We have to have a hand in his face at all times.”
Scott Tyler may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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