Salado is off to a fast start in District 22-2A with a perfect 4-0 record, including a road win against Jarrell, who the Eagles split the district title with last year. Salado is now up to No. 22 in the TABC Class 2A poll as it continues the momentum it began at the end of 2013.
Eagles coach Kenny Mann spoke with Herald reporter Jordan Mason to discuss how his team is playing of late.
What do you feel like your team is doing well right now?
We’re doing a lot of things well. I think our defense plays a big part in what we’re doing well. We’re playing really hard defense, and we’re transitioning well out of our defense. I think we’re getting a lot of points out of our transition, and really that may be the No. 1 thing we’re doing right there is our transition game.
How big was it to beat Jarrell early in district play, especially at their place?
Beating Jarrell in Jarrell is always a big deal. It’s really hard to do. All the years that I’ve been here, and we’ve been really good, we still have really not been able to win over in Jarrell very often. So, it was a good win. From the guys’ frame of mind, I think they were excited and happy to get it, but they were kind of expecting to win. They’re pretty confident, so they expect to win every time they play.
Obviously, you have guys like (starting point guard) Kase (Spears) and (starting post) Dane (Hankamer) back from last year, but how is this team different from last year’s team?
We’re similar in a lot of ways. I think we’re a little bit more aggressive and physical than last year’s team was.
How does having continuity with guys like that help this team?
It’s huge. Those two guys, they’re three-year starters. Both of them got playing time when we were in 3A on the varsity level. So, they’re really experienced players, and it definitely has shown this year. They just have a real good feel for what we’ve been doing, we haven’t changed a lot, and they’re just really comfortable with what we do.
It’s really pretty smooth when we get out there.
Did you expect (sophomore) Preston Rosebrock to be as big of a contributor as he has been this year?
I think I did. He was a good player last year ... his size and just his strength last year made a difference.
But he got in the weight room and he got stronger and bigger, and he’s got a really good game. So, I expected quite a bit out of him this year, and he definitely hasn’t disappointed.