“I have worked with incredible coaches here and so many incredible kids and young men. I just hope that I’ve been able to affect their lives positively. This has meant the world to me and is my life’s dream come true. I’m where I’ve always wanted to be doing what I’ve always wanted to do.”
Seven Lakes has big goals this year.
The Spartans have laid the framework. They’ve continued to improve year by year, become a force in the area and made a name for themselves.
Now its about taking things a step further and finding a way to the state tournament.
Seven Lakes is laying the groundwork for that now. They’ve opened the season by playing four state ranked teams in their first 10 games and have purposely given themselves as tough a schedule out of the gate as possible as the Spartans want to test themselves against the best so they can make improvements early in the year.
Seven Lakes continued that journey on Monday with a matchup against Pearland Dawson in a game that has been a battle over the years. The Spartans had come into the matchup having lost to the Eagles each of the past three seasons, but Seven Lakes turned that around in a big way, beating Dawson 74-50 to improve to 8-3 on the season.
It was a night at celebration at Seven Lakes, before the game the Spartans had a moment to celebrate Bates, who became the schools leading scorer for a career earlier in the season, and after the game, the team celebrated what was the 200th win of head coach Shannon Heston’s career.
“This was a big one for us,” said senior point guard AJ Bates. “We wanted to bounce back after a loss over the weekend and I had been a part of the last three losses to these guys so I really wanted to get this one. We came out and had a lot of energy and played well on both sides of the ball. You don’t get to celebrate many times like we were able to tonight, so to be able to do this in our home opener this year was awesome. It was a great night.”
Seven Lakes and Dawson went back and forth through the first half. The Spartans led 14-10 after the first quarter but Dawson came back to take the lead early in the second quarter before the Spartans answered with a run of its own and went into the half with a 30-24 lead.
The third quarter was where Seven Lakes broke things open, the Spartans opened up a 20 point lead behind a upped defensive intensity and clinical fast break play. Seven Lakes then closed it out with a strong fourth quarter as the Spartans didn’t waver in their intensity for the entire second half.
“The game was still close and when we came out of the half we just talked to ourselves as a team and told each other ‘let’s end this, don’t let them fight their way back into it, we need to step on their throat.’”, said senior guard Brett Norton. “We did that and it was a great half. That’s how we want to play basketball.”
But the night might have had more meaning to Heston than anyone else. The coach notched his 200th win as the head coach of the Spartans and it was against a significant opponent. Heston did not want to hype up the accomplishment, but he did speak about just what the Seven Lakes basketball program has meant to him.
“This program has taken me from a cocky, arrogant junior high coach to someone who is humbled and honored to be here and be a part of this program and its history,” Heston said. “I have worked with incredible coaches here and so many incredible kids and young men. I just hope that I’ve been able to affect their lives positively. This has meant the world to me and is my life’s dream come true. I’m where I’ve always wanted to be doing what I’ve always wanted to do.”