First United Bank Boys Athlete of the Week: William Luther, Texline

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William Luther, Texline basketball, Sr.

On the court: Defending Class 1A state champion and No. 1 ranked Texline faced perhaps its biggest week of basketball since winning the title last March, and predictably, Luther stepped up as expected. The Tornadoes faced the top two challengers to their District 1-3A lead against a pair of fellow top 10 opponents, No. 8 Wildorado and No. 7 Nazareth. Texline opened the week by routing Wildorado 80-45, as Luther was Texline’s second leading scorer with 18 points. That was just a warm-up for Luther, who on Friday night carried the Tornadoes to a 52-31 win over Nazareth, almost matching the Swifts by himself with 29 points and 14 rebounds. The week sweep kept Texline atop the district (and the state) with a 10-0 mark and 24-2 overall, and was fairly typical for Luther, who’s averaging around 23 points and 13 rebounds a game, showing last year’s 1A state player of the year honors were no fluke.

Coach Coby Beckner: “Will’s not scared. He hit the last eight points in the state championship game (a 54-53 win over Slidell) including a step-back three for the winner. Honestly, we kind of expected that kind of performance and production from Will, so no real surprise. That’s stuff I think he kind of should do. That’s the way he feels about it too. He’s been for the most part a four-year starter. He definitely raises his game up. When we play teams we know we’re going to handle he could score 30, but he’s such an unselfish kid, he kind of takes the game and sees what’s going to be needed out of it if it’s more rebounds or more defense. We need him to be able to shoot the three as well. He’s just a really versatile 1A player. I haven’t seen anybody better than him in 1A.”

Luther: “It was a team effort. We all went in there thinking that this is a big week to define who we are and make a statement for the season. We just all went in with the mindset to do our thing and play the way we play. I’m a leader on the team so I’m looked at more than once most of the time to take a shot and have the ball in my hands the last second. If I have the ball in my hands in the last seconds and I still don’t have a shot, I just give it up and find someone who has a better shot. (The Nazareth game) was to just make the easiest shot possible, don’t do anything out of control and just make it easy and simple. That led to me getting a lot of easy buckets and our team winning by 21.”

About Luther

Favorite band or musician: Drake

Favorite social media platform: Twitter

Favorite athlete: Devin Booker

Bet you didn’t know: Has always wanted to play high school football. Texline doesn’t have a football team.

Parents: Phillip and Misty Luther

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