Matthew Baker looks to pass during a recent practice.
Last season in Class 5A, North Dallas’ basketball team played a tough preseason schedule in preparation for district play. This season, now in Class 4A, the Bulldogs are facing a tougher District 12-4A schedule than preseason schedule.
“Our district is a gauntlet. I don’t know that our schedule is any better or any worse, it’s still very competitive,” said boys head coach Jeremy Mason. “Last year our pre-district might have been a little more difficult than our district. And our district was tough. But this year, our district is a whole lot tougher than our pre-district.”
The Bulldogs prepare for the 2018-19 season with a scrimmage at Molina on Monday night. The junior varsity plays at 6 p.m., followed by the varsity at 7:30 p.m.
The new District 12-4A opponents include Carter, Lincoln, Wilmer-Hutchins, Roosevelt, Pinkston and Hillcrest.
“Our district this year is really the gauntlet,” Mason continued. “You have Carter and Wilmer, who played each other to go to state last year, and those guys are returning everyone. So, they’ll probably be picked the favorites in the district. Then you have Roosevelt. We’ve got ourselves. Lincoln is going to be a monster too. Lincoln won state (in 2016), what maybe two years ago?”
Mason is optimistic though.
“We’re going to be pretty exciting. We’re going to play a style of ball that is exciting,” he said. “We’re going to push the ball up the floor. Really try to get after people defensively.”
The Bulldogs have three starters coming back, including all-district guard Matthew Baker, Jah’Ques and Larry Dorn.
“We’ll be fun to watch. I think we’ll be more competitive,” Mason said. “A lot of the kids that have come and gone, they were talented but I don’t know that they were competitive spirits. We’ve got a lot of competitive spirits. We’re young and guys are fighting for spots. We’re only going to have two teams.”
Monday’s scrimmage will help Mason learn more about this players.
“It’s a great opportunity to see who’s a gamer. Who’s not,” he said. “Who can play with the lights on? Not everybody can do that. It’s one thing to be in a closed-in gym with nobody around. But the crowd will be there, so it will be good to see the kids get their feet wet moreso than anything.”
North Dallas head coach Jeremy Mason explains the play during practice.
Assistant coach Eric Gracia and head coach Jeremy Mason talk during practice.
Kaleb Dismuke (left) hands the ball off to Larry Dorn during practice.