Relying on a recipe that includes solid half-court defense, good rebounding and ball security, the Longhorn freshmen boys have cooked up an 8-0 record.
Under the tutelage of former varsity boys coach Chuck Hardt, the freshmen ran off recent victories over Page, 59-49, Coconino, 46-20 and Chinle 52-33.
In the Jan. 9 thumping of Chinle in Wilson Dome, the freshmen ran out to a 36-11 halftime lead and coasted to the victory as Hardt emptied his bench.
Hardt said the team's aggressive man-to-man defense was one of the reasons for the victory.
"I've always thought that you can't extend the defense if you don't play good half-court (defense)," he said. "We have a plan on where we want the ball to go and we work on doing that."
The coach said practices focus on perfecting the half-court "D."
"We haven't spent any time on full court," he said.
The win over Coconino, Hardt said, was a good example of the team's ability to shut down the opposing offense.
"The kids played outstanding man (defense) the entire game," he said.
The victory also was the best all-around game the team has played all year, the coach said.
"They are starting to understand how well they can play when they check their egos at the door," he said.
When the freshmen turn to the offense, the Longhorns have received outstanding shooting from Bryson Addington, who is 67 percent from two-point range.
The floor general for the team has been Miles Huff who has recorded a team-high 22 assists. From his guard position, Huff also has contributed 14 steals and has hit 12 of 26 shot attempts from three-point land.
When the freshmen need a rebound, Hunter Hardt -- the coach's son -- is usually around the glass to corral the loose ball. With 27 rebounds, he's one of the team leaders.
Alex Bunk, who scored a season-high 19 points in the win over Chinle, leads the team offensively in most games. Bunk also is a terror on the boards, having hauled in 36 rebounds this season.
The freshmen will try to extend their winning streak today (Tuesday) when they travel to Flagstaff Sinagua. Tip off is 4 p.m.