JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER
LAGO VISTA — On the last night of the Lago Vista Boys Summer Basketball League on June 25, the Llano Yellow Jackets could have forfeited and began their July break a little early.
Instead, five athletes — Joey Albore, Jaden Napolez, Wayne Davis, Michael Lockhart and Drew Baker — played 120 minutes without any substitutions. And since referees were calling infractions, they also knew they couldn’t foul out.
And even better, the Jackets defeated Lago Vista 42-27 before losing to Austin St. Michael’s 49-39.
Albore is the team’s three-point specialist. He led the way by knocking down numerous outside jumpers against Lago Vista.
“I kept shooting it, and it kept going in the bucket,” he said. “We’ve been playing all summer.”
Making outside shots energized the entire team. Other Jackets began moving well without the ball and were able to convert high-percentage shots after the long ball stretched the defense.
“We weren’t afraid to shoot the ball, and shots were going in,” Albore said. “It’s the best we’ve moved the ball. We’re really looking to see how (well) we play when we get together.”
Lago Vista had a height advantage over Llano. But both teams hustled after loose balls, and the Jackets were able to convert those into quick buckets, Baker said.
“We played more as a team,” he said. “When we first started, it was miserable.”
That’s because Llano didn’t have immediate success. But they still kept playing, and the result was a lopsided victory, Napolez said.
“It’s the best we’ve played,” he said.
Perhaps the most important part of the game was the Jackets didn’t fear making a mistake or fouling out. Instead, they committed to playing astute basketball and being selective with how they used their fouls.
“We were aggressive, and we did play smarter because we knew we couldn’t foul out,” he said. “We were passing and getting easy fast-break points. It was a lot of fun.”