DeSOTO — It's the fourth time since 2003 that the boys team from DeSoto has earned a trip to the Final Four.
“It means a lot actually,” said DeSoto post Terry Maston. “For us to be here for four years and finally get there, three years on varsity, it feels great.”
DeSoto reached the Final Four thanks a defense ranked No. 1 in Class 5A this year. They held their opponent to an average of 44 points a game.
It’s such a trademark of this team that you won’t find a player’s name on the back of their jersey; instead, you’ll find the word "DEFENSE."
“They preach defense 24-7,” said Desoto Post Devin Wyatt. “It's our bread-and-butter, and sometimes it’s our best offense.”
“We love it,” added DeSoto guard Takedrick Brown. “We do it every day. We'll do defense and not sleep. We just do it.”
“I guess if you say it and you preach it enough, maybe it starts to seep in,” said DeSoto head coach Chris Dyer. “When the young kids come up they realize if they don't play defense, they probably will not play for us.”
Going to state is nothing new for the Eagles, but it is new for every player on this team. The last time DeSoto went to state was 2009, when the seniors on this team were still in the 8th grade.
When DeSoto celebrated that year, senior guard Julian Green was in the stands watching every second.
“Oh yeah, I knew I wanted to make it here one day,” ge saud, “It's going to be crazy that now I'll be on the court playing instead of watching in the stands.”
Dyer has been coaching in North Texas more than 30 years, and has won three state championships. His record the last 10 years is an amazing 325 wins and just 51 losses.
“It’s gratifying when you see young men that sacrifice and try to play as a team instead of individuals,” Dyer said.
And that's a recipe for success for any program.