Cohesion is the name of the game for the Irion County boys’ basketball team.

With a roster of just eight players, Coach John Morrow said his Hornets understand the need to be united and disciplined in whatever they set out to do.

“There’s no question we have to pick and choose our battles, especially when it comes to how we decide to play defensively,” Morrow told Texas Scorecard. “We understand that and our attitude is always to compete to the end.”

It’s an approach and system that works well for Irion, which finished 18-12 last season with almost half the same roster. Senior guard Nathan Chacon and junior center Avery Theeck return to do most of the heavy-lifting for the Hornets.

“Nathan’s a very physical player, who can shoot the long ball and attacks the rim really well,” Morrow said of the senior guard, who was named first-team all-district as a junior. “He’s very fundamentally sound and understands what we’re trying to do out there.”

Morrow describes the 6-foot-4-inch Theeck as “just coming into his own” and playing with a lot more confidence these days.

“He’s playing long and using his length around the basket,” he said. “He’s learning how to get into position and helping us to control glass the way we need to.”

The Hornets are off to a 2-1 start and Morrow said his squad of five seniors and three juniors has come to embrace the team’s motto of one game at a time.

“A lot of it is about conditioning and really sticking together through everything that comes,” he said.  “We’re getting better every week and are optimistic that if we continue to work and play good defense we can make a run. This program is really getting stronger and we’re growing an identity.”