Coppell junior Ryan Agarwal was ecstatic when he found out that the Cowboys were going to get another home game.
The Cowboys (18-3) were originally scheduled to play a Class 6A-Region 1 bi-district game against Allen (13-8) on Thursday at Prosper Rock Hill. But, inclement weather forced that contest to be rescheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday. And with it came a change in venue.
"It's huge,” Agarwal said. “The thing is that any team can come in here and shoot lights out because of our rims. We have soft rims. It's an advantage to us because of our student section. Hopefully we’ll make the most of it. Us being able to play here in our gym where we practice is huge."
Coppell comes into the playoffs as the No. 1 seed out of District 6-6A. Both the Cowboys and Marcus earned a share of the district crown – third straight season that Coppell has captured a conference championship. But, Coppell earned the top seed and Marcus the No. 2 seed after a coin flip.
Winners of 14 of their last 15 games, Coppell is working to regain its rhythm. The Cowboys had to play three games in less than 24 hours last week – and at two different venues – to conclude the regular season after COVID-19 concerns within their program forced them step away from the court. Coppell won the first two games, earning wins over Plano West and Flower Mound, before losing in overtime to Plano.
And, Coppell, like every other team in the area, wasn’t able to practice until at least Thursday due to inclement weather.
"We haven't really been able to do anything except stay in contact,” Agarwal said. “A couple of us guys have hung out and just chilled to keep the chemistry up. The main thing to do is to stay safe. We're hoping to get back into the gym (Friday) for practice and hopefully play Saturday."
Agarwal scored the 1,000th point of his high school career against West. Nazir Brown, also a junior, poured in 24 points in the loss to Plano. Coppell has leaned on the play of Agarwal, Brown and fellow juniors Anthony Black and Devank Rane, but also received significant contributions from senior forward Tim O’Hearn, senior guard Ben Klement and senior guard K.J. Liggins.
Allen also has elite talent. The Eagles are led by senior guard Mason Gibson, an Oakland commit, and 6-foot-6 senior forward Ian Motta, a Bucknell pledge.
It’s been an up-and-down season for the Eagles, who went 4-6 to wrap up the regular season, but have also earned victories over two playoff-bound teams in Marcus and Lake Highlands.
“I know that they have a good guard and another good player,” Agarwal said. “We’ve got to contain (Gibson) and not let him penetrate our defense and get some easy ones. At the other end, we’ve got to some good shots.”
Coppell advanced to the area round of the playoffs last season before being eliminated by a Waxahachie team that is currently ranked No. 1 in the state’s top classification by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches. The Cowboys check in at No. 22.
The winner of Saturday’s game between Allen and Coppell will either Lake Highlands or Arlington Lamar in the area round.