On a team some mistakenly believe is entirely dependent on Deric Shelton, it will be the loss of another player that may haunt Plainview.

Junior guard Taber Jordan, who has stepped up his level of play over the second half of the Indians' 21-5 season, broke his foot during the team's 49-45 loss to Stroud last Saturday and will miss the rest of the season.

"He's just such a good athlete, and his work ethic is so good," coach Jeremy Stewart said. "He's got great leadership capabilities that carry over from being the quarterback on the football team, and that is going to be hard to replace."

Shelton agreed, citing Jordan's tenacity and grit.

"He's always going 100 percent in practice and games, giving everything he has," Shelton said. "Not to mention being one of our best defensive players and scorers."

Nevertheless, Plainview must go on, as it looks to rebound out of the consolation bracket and win three straight games to qualify for the state tournament.

"I think our mentality is good," Stewart said. "I think one thing our guys know is that in the course of three straight days of games, it's not the offensive team that comes away, but a hard-fighting defensive bunch."

That will play into the hands of the Indians, a scrappy and physical defensive group that tends to play bigger than its size.

"Defense is all effort, and we'll give effort," Shelton said. "All our guys communicate well and we just need to find a way to replicate (Jordan's) production on offense."

That load will fall on Gage Kennedy, Dalton Dillon, Kelton Kelch and several others, something Stewart has confidence that he will see.
"We have a few of those guys who will come off the bench now and get a chance to play," Stewart said.

Spencer White