ROXTON, Texas - The picture is on display outside the gym. The 2010-2011 Roxton Lions are standing on the court at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, holding a plaque to commemorate their berth into the state tournament.

Not a single player is smiling.

I think about it all the time, said Quinton Walker, a junior guard. Every time I come into practice, I think about it.

A year ago, Roxton lost in the semi-finals of the state tournament. Led by a core group of sophomores and a brand new head coach, they should have been happy making it as far as they did.

They weren't.

Every night, [when] I go to bed, I can visualize that picture and how they felt, said head coach Hosea Lee. In my scorer's book, before I fill it out every game, I open that book and there's that picture in black and white.

Roxton is a small town - fewer than 700 people live here. And kids who want to play basketball in high school have to first earn their spot in pickup games, on an outdoor court next to the school.

We [were] too small to play, so we weren't good enough at the time, so we had monkey bars at the playgrounds and we'd play 25 there, said Lester Green, a guard. But now we [are] like the best ones, we [are] the first ones picked at the court now.

The basketball team has been great for Roxton, but to say they put the town on the map would be a stretch.

You know those wipe boards that coaches all over the country use to diagram plays on the bench? They make those here.

We sell anywhere from 50,000-to-75,000 a year, said Jeff Reed, a co-owner of KBA, Korney Board Aids.

The company was founded by his father, a basketball coach who used to draw plays directly on the gym floor before he invented his prototype. Reed showed us a board his father designed in 1967, which is basically a mini chalkboard.

The coaching boards today can be used with dry-erase markers, and coach Lee will have one at the state tournament, just as he has all year.

It's real good exposure for him to use our board at the state tournament, Reed said. But I would be willing to guess that most every team there will be using our boards.

As long as Lee is in Roxton, he'll never have to buy his own coaching board. This weekend, he will try to draw up the right plays and lead Roxton to its first state championship.

If they can win it, this year's team photo at the Erwin Center will look a lot different than last year's.

Twitter @tedmadden

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