The Santa Fe Raiders boys’ basketball team begins their district championship pursuit this week.
After a slow start to the season, the Raiders come into the district tournament with a 17-game winning streak.
“Things started to click,” Head Coach Glen Banks said.
Following the pre-season departure of key player Mason Brown, the team won just two of their first seven games. However, the Raiders found momentum following a successful Christmas tournament showing, and the play of senior guard Dontell Jenkins has been a major factor in the turnaround.
Banks credited the team’s turnaround to the emergence of junior guard Braylon Guyden and senior guard Makhi Lewis, who have embraced larger roles to complement Dontrell Jenkins. “We’re playing really good defense,” Banks added.
The identity of this Raiders team starts on defense. They’re not a big team, but Banks noted that their defense allows them to get easy buckets on offense. “We think we’re in better shape than most teams,” Banks said. “We try to ware teams down by the fourth quarter, and it’s been working lately.”
Effort is non-negotiable for coach Banks, and his team played extremely hard. With seven seniors to choose from, Banks can count on several players to play hard and contribute.
Banks’ mindset coming into the postseason is simple. “My approach is to stay consistent,” Banks said. Although it is important to make adjustments based on who the opponent is, he emphasized that it is most important that his team focuses on being consistent in what has made them successful this season.
The Raiders await the winner of the Eastside and Keystone Heights. Santa Fe defeated Eastside in both meetings this season but did not play against Keystone Heights. However, Banks is not underestimating either team and knows that both Eastside and Keystone Heights will come ready to play.