The pressure of a playoff race can either make or break a player.
In the case of Ellisons Ojai Black, its the former. Black received 812 votes to earn the KDHPressbox Player of the Week award.
Black doesnt buy into the notion that a tight playoff race can be burdensome. (Its) not pressure. As a team its now or never, he said. We just have to go out there and play ball like we can.
Black, a junior guard, averaged 16.5 points in two victories over District 12-5A opponents, Temple and Belton. The Eagles momentum was stopped on Tuesday, in a 64-60 loss to Shoemaker. However, Black and his fellow teammates wont be feeling sorry for themselves.
We came into practice and we were a little down (after the loss), but coach (Jones) said Why are you down? The loss is over, Black said.
Despite the setback, Ellison needs only to split its last two games in order to secure a playoff birth.
We have a home game. Its the game we want and need. Black said.
Blacks motivation is more than one dimensional. His team is in a fight for its 18th-straight playoff birth, but that isnt the only reason he plays hard.
I do this for (my mother). Shes more than motivation, Black said. Shes the reason Im out there. She is my everything.
Blacks mother reciprocates her sons undying devotion. She commented on the player of the week board, You will ALWAYS be my Player of the Week !!! Never stop shooting for the stars. All you have to do is believe!!!! I Love you baby...... Mom!
The Eagles finish with Bryan (2-28 2-10 12-5A) at home and A&M Consolidated (27-4, 11-1 12-5A) in College Station.
We talk about it in practice, (that) A&M is a harsh (place to play). Black said. Theyre number one in the district for a reason.
Although the situation gets bigger with each game, Black keeps himself even-keeled. Dont expect the junior to try to do too much.
I dont put it in my head that I have to take over, Black said. Coach says that I have to step up and make plays in order to be the player he knows I can be.Eboniey Jeter finished second in the voting with 612 votes, ending Harker Heights reign of five straight weeks of receiving the honor.
Killeens Jasmine Goodwine and Gatesvilles Skye Truss were also nominated, as they averaged 15 points and 16.5 points, respectively. Both players helped their teams gain two victories in as many tries last week, setting their respective teams up for a playoff run.