Mumford’s success built on adjustments

A USTIN–For most of Chris Sodek’s decade as head coach of Mumford, the Mustangs were known for blowing up scoreboards all over Central Texas.

All shooting, all the time.

Last season, the Mustangs set a state record for threes in a game with 26 against Prairie Lea. They broke their own record of 25.

In the past few years, Mumford regularly approached or surpassed the 100-point mark against worn out opponents.

Despite finishing second in district to Burton, they scored 100 points eight times and averaged nearly 90 points a game.

Fast-forward to 2012, where the Mustangs averaged a pedestrian 74 points a game.

They passed 100 points just once, just barely, in a 101-47 thumping of Class 5A Lockhart. They reached 90 just three times.

“We had to change our style due to depth and personnel changes” said Sodek. “Basketball’s still the same. You’ve got to put the ball in the hole. You’ve got to try and stop the other team from scoring and then rebound.”

Chris Sodek changed his style of coaching to fit his players. 
Reporter/Bill Martin Chris Sodek changed his style of coaching to fit his players. Reporter/Bill Martin It’s been a 10-year plan for Sodek, who is 34, but in street clothes could easily be mistaken for a Mumford player.

He led Mumford to the playoffs for the first time in 2008. They lost on a last-second shot to Bartlett.

In 2009, the Mustangs were ranked No. 3 in the state and averaging 97 points a game, but were upset by Normangee in area.

A 33-3 record wasn’t good enough to get to the state tournament in 2010 when they were upset by Spurger in the regional finale.

Sodek is a 1996 graduate of Fayetteville High School. He was a ball boy for the high school team which featured— you guessed it—the three-point shot.

Fayetteville was one of the first teams to take advantage of the three-point shot which was instituted in 1987.

Jerry Katt was the featured player on that team and at one time, he shot more threes (and made more) than anybody in high school history, averaging 36 points a game.

Some of Katt’s three-point marks still stand almost 25 years later.

But after losing all-state point guard Eric Corona and 6-foot-7 postman Luke Scarmado two years ago, Sodek began to adjust his game plan to more of a half court set.

That tweaking—and the arrival of Aubrie King—has produced the ultimate goal for a high school basketball program.

“It was going to happen,” Sodek said. “We just had to keep working. We’ve taken another step as a basketball program. It’s a big step. We’re going to play in the state tournament, and this is really only our 10th year of varsity competition.”

Mumford had been chasing Clarksville all year. Despite five losses, Clarksville was ranked No. 1, Mumford, No. 2.

Mumford entered the tournament as the only unbeaten team in the entire field.

The Mustangs lose just two seniors and return the all-state caliber King.

Now that they’ve gotten that pesky first appearance at state out of the way, it’s likely that it won’t take another 10 years to make it back to the tournament.

It’s just a fastbreak, or a halfcourt pass away.

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