Lions riding a wave of success that they hope ends with a 32-4A title

LA FERIA — Midway through the 2016-17 basketball season, the La Feria Lions are right where they want to be in the race for the District 32-4A crown as they sport a 6-0 conference mark and are in first place.

“It’s definitely a huge plus anytime you start out 6-0 in district play,” said Lions head coach Dario Sanchez. “The team is really starting to come together, they’re starting to trust each other and everyone knows their role.”

A big reason for the Lions’ success is the stiff competition they faced earlier, especially from district opponents during the non-district season.

“We were able to see Hidalgo in the PSJA Tournament and the fact that we lost to them helped us re-focus,” said Sanchez. “You learn from all the losses, but when you lose to a district opponent like that, we made sure to prepare better for the next game.”

But just winning games is not enough for the Lions. The team decided early on to set its sights higher than just coming away with victories. The team wants to achieve other goals as well.

“One of the goals we have been pretty consistent with is averaging 40 points a game, and another one is winning 50-50 balls that are up for grabs,” said Sanchez. “When we can maintain control of the ball, it let’s us know that the intensity is there and our effort is up to par.”

The Lions have a bevy of players that contribute, but senior JalenMorrell holds the standard for how La Feria basketball should be played.

“He’s the leader of the team and since his freshman year he’s really developed into quite the athlete, especially winning Defensive MVP last season for us,” said Sanchez of Morrell.

The second half of the season should be a thrill to watch as several teams are within reach of the first-place Lions. Hidalgo is currently in second place at one game back with a 5-1 record, and tied for third is Zapata and Rio Hondo, which each have 4-2 records.

The Lions will look to continue their win streak when they host Zapata tonight at 7:30.