Boys Basketball

Defense, defense, defense

Coach Hernando Chavez says Taos will be high-pressure, in-your-face at the basket

By Matthew Narvaiz
sports@taosnews.com
Posted 11/27/19

Nothing easy on the defensive end.

This is the mantra of this Taos Tigers basketball team, according to head coach Hernando Chavez, who is in his third season leading the program.

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Boys Basketball

Defense, defense, defense

Coach Hernando Chavez says Taos will be high-pressure, in-your-face at the basket

Posted

Nothing easy on the defensive end.

This is the mantra of this Taos Tigers basketball team, according to head coach Hernando Chavez, who is in his third season leading the program.

The season is closely approaching, too, as the Tigers will host a season-opening game against Capital at home on Tuesday (Dec. 3).

While defense is of utmost importance, offensively this Tigers team can shoot the ball and can pose problems in the low-post with their length.

But Chavez said that Taos will look to push the ball on the offensive end. He did, however, admit that having a half-court offensive set is critical in meaningful games.

Chavez said deflections on the defensive end will be a big part of Taos' style of play, though, and that its length and speed factor into that.

"We have the ability to disrupt you," Chavez said when speaking on his team's defense.

This season, the team features three seniors, seven juniors and four sophomores. Chavez said that the players haven't had a whole lot of time playing with each other, so it might take some time to find "chemistry" on the offensive end but he has no doubt that they have the talent to do so.

Some players will float between varsity and junior varsity to get more playing time, but the Tigers also have their share of grounded stars -- players who will have a big impact on both ends of the court.

Abdul Khweis, a junior, brings with him the ability to get up and down the court quickly and can put the ball in the hoop in a variety of ways.

"He has a knack for putting the ball in the basket," Chavez said of Khweis.

Noah Armijo -- a senior who stands at 6 feet, 6 inches, according to MaxPreps -- "can impact the game on both ends of the floor," Chavez said. "Offensively, he's a threat on the inside and teams have to honor him [there]. … On the defensive end, he nails the paint down."

When players like Armijo and Khweis are scoring and defenses are starting to double team and trap them, the Tigers' offense can open up when shooters are left unguarded, Chavez said.

When posed with the question of what some key matches might be this season, Chavez said that any district game is important for the Tigers since those are the teams that they'll face more than once and because those games can be critical closer to the state tournament.

Chavez said that there is a heavy leniency toward guards and guard play in District 2-4A.

But it's still a tough district, Chavez said, and games between those teams will be "competitive this season."

He pointed to Española Valley as being a squad to beat, and also to Pojoaque Valley as a strong up-and-comer in the district.

Regardless of tough competition, many players, including senior Angel Limas, are looking at the upcoming season with confidence.

Limas said that he believes the Tigers have good chemistry, and because of that they will have a successful run.

"I feel like we are going to be a better program than we were last year," said Limas. A season ago, the Tigers lost in the quarterfinals of the state tournament to No. 1 Los Lunas and went 20-9 overall.

The Tigers have fight in them, however, and are willing to improve each step of the way. To that end, Chavez said that he knows this team will perform when it is asked.

"They're a gritty group, they're a tough group," Chavez said. "I really do feel like this team has a chance to be really good this season."

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