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KOAA Athlete of the Week: Mesa Ridge Boys Basketball

The undefeated Grizzlies are gearing up for the Sweet Sixteen
Posted at 11:53 PM, Feb 23, 2023

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Joel Babbitt's first season as the Mesa Ridge boys basketball coach has been pretty perfect so far.

"The fact that they've bought in so early has just been incredible," Babbitt said. "It's led to where we are right now."

Mesa Ridge finished the regular season undefeated for the first time in school history.

"It feels great to be a part of it," junior Tevin Riehl said, "but we know we can just accomplish more, so we want to strive for that every day."

With a perfect season comes some additional pressure.

"Being undefeated throughout the season has been good for us, because ever since 15-0 our kids have been like worrying about 'okay we have to take care of that next game we don't want to mess it up,'" Coach Babbitt explained. "I think that's been great for the playoffs because it's the same way, you can't lose the next game."

The defense may be Mesa Ridge's bread and butter but they can score too, dropping 1,620 points so far this season.

"I mean the way they move the basketball is really fun to watch," Coach Babbitt said. "There's sometimes where I just sit back as a coach and I'm just so happy to see what they're doing, and maybe doesn't even have anything to do with me because they want to see their teammates have success."

The 2-seed Grizzlies (24-0) are set to host 15-seed Silver Creek in the Sweet Sixteen on Saturday at 1 p.m.


About Athlete of the Week

News5 works to honor the high school Athlete of the Week throughout the school year in our Tuesday evening newscasts. We’re looking for that special teen who is working hard and playing right all while making parents and coaches proud.

Nominate your Athlete of the Week today! See our current and past athletes of the week, click here.