Technically, Ellison played host to Round Rock in a meaningless game Monday that became even more meaningless when the Eagles turned it into a blowout by the end of the first quarter.
But it certainly didn’t feel that way.
With holiday scheduling offering the rare opportunity for Killeen ISD teams to watch a rival play in person, the crowd at Ellison gymnasium was a who’s who of Killeen ISD basketball.
Up high in the stands sat coaches Celneque Bobbit and Reggie Huggins of Harker Heights and Killeen, respectively, both of whom once played at Killeen.
Below them was UT-Pan American signee and current Killeen standout Brian Long and his teammates.
Across from them, behind the Ellison bench, sat a number of Heights players, including Louisiana Monroe signee Roderick Taylor and 2012 8-5A Newcomer of the Year Celneque Bobbit II.
The players on the floor were certainly aware of the spectacle, with Ellison senior Ronnie Edwards even calling it a nice challenge to have the KISD spotlight turned squarely on them.
The Eagles responded so well to that spotlight that Bobbitt said he wasn’t even able to glean anything from his first look at the 2013 squad.
“We didn’t even write anything down,” he said.
But the event was bigger than a rare scouting opportunity for the rest of the Killeen ISD schools.
The showing was not only a who’s who of Killeen ISD standouts, it was a who’s who of 8-5A standouts less than one year after KISD swept the 8-5A All District superlatives and first-team honors.
“That’s a tell-tale for the history of Killeen,” Bobbitt said.
Bobbitt loves to talk the state of basketball in the town he earned his stripes in as a Roo.
It only helps the rivalries that the rest of the KISD coaches attended Killeen or Ellison as well.
And Bobbitt believes the rivalries are as strong as ever with Monday being an example of the respect each program not only commands but gives its peers as well.
And the teams have played up to the hype early in the season as KISD schools are a combined 12-2 on the year.
“Basketball hasn’t fallen off,” Bobbitt said. “We’ve always stayed consistent.”
And the players share that respect as Edwards said he had no problem being observed by the players he grew up playing with.
For Bobbitt, seeing all of the players in one spot was the most fun part of Monday night.
“It’s so funny to see the kids are grown now,” he said. “I can remember when all these juniors were playing on the dropdown goals at my basketball camp.”
Now, the players are competing on a bigger stage and doing it well.
And on one unsuspecting Monday night, they all came together to take in the latest display of Killeen basketball — one they hope to beat come December.
Contact Jordan Mason at email@example.com or 254-501-7562