The Apollo basketball team features one of the most talented rosters in the state and is the top team in the 5A state tournament.
But this progression isn’t a flash in the pan. It’s been a slow burn centered around a group of seniors that have played together for a long time.
Leading the way are guards Holland Woods and Dre Marin, who combine for 48 points, nine rebounds, 11 assists and five steals per game.
Jeff Perez is a solid shooter from that outside that averages double-digit scoring. Elloheim Clark is a wing that brings intensity on the defense.
Woods, Marin and Perez were the battle-tested sophomores who head coach Jacob Marin claimed had more big-time varsity minutes as sophomores than most seniors.
And they only got more experienced.
“We’ve been playing together since seventh, eighth grade so many plays happen and so many situations where you get to the point where you know someone is going to be there,” Woods said. “I look this way, (they will) cut, I throw a no-look pass and I know (they are) going to be there.”
Last year, the junior-led team had an impressive season and nabbed the #3 seed in the Division II state tournament but were upset by #19 Sunrise Mountain.
Now, the seniors, who are the top seed in 5A, are making one last push for a state title.
“I think they realized that this is their time and that time is now,” Apollo head coach Jacob Marin said. “They don’t want to waste any of that time and seize that moment.”
Woods is committed to play college ball at Portland State, and Marin will be playing at the next level at Southern Utah. This season is even more special knowing it will be the last season Marin will be coached by his father.
“Playing for him has been a great experience. It’s gone by fast, sad it’s coming to an end,” Dre said. “I really appreciate everything he’s done for me and the team.“
The Hawks play Ironwood in the state quarterfinals on Saturday, February 18th.