Lampasas High boys’ basketball coach Aaron Nuckles has a simple philosophy that he regularly drills into his team about how winning games and playing defense go hand-in-hand.

“I tell them the less points you give up, the less you have to score,” Nuckles told Texas Scorecard. “That’s another way of saying everything we like to do starts with our defense.”

At 13-10 and heading into 4A Region IV District 27 play, the Badgers have allowed more than 60 points just five times this season, while holding opponents to 50 or less on 10 different occassions.

“We’re very aggressive and like to put a lot of pressure on the ball to take teams out of their offense,” Nuckles added. “In the half-court, we try to be as physical as can to disrupt.”

On offense, the Badgers have relied on a balance offense.

“We’ve got a lot of young guys playing a lot of minutes for us, so we’re not running as much of our stuff,” Nuckles said. “We like to do things by committee.”

Senior guard Kolbe Penick leads Lampasas with averages of 13 points and eight rebounds, but the Badgers may be looking for even more from the sharpshooter after sophomore running-mate Mike Murray recently went down with a fractured ankle that will sideline him up to four weeks.

“He does it all for us,” Nuckles said of Penick. “Just a guy that always plays the right way.”

Nuckles said senior big man Raven Wade is also critical for the Badgers, protecting the basket, providing muscle and “doing all the little things.”

While still making adjustments, Nuckles said he likes the Badgers’ chances going into district play.

“I tell the guys stay tough and stay together,” he said. “We hang everything on toughness and have to out tough everyone we face. Guys understand that, just like they know that District is a whole new ballgame.”

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