W.A.B. mantra creates winning culture for Andress hoops

High School Sports

EL PASO, TEXAS (KTSM) – At Andress, success has come in droves for a long time.

Under Jim Forbes, the Eagle boys made the Texas State Final 4 five years ago and the girls have seen success in their own right under Wadrian Wallace. This year, they’re a rare 1-2 punch in Texas high school hoops; both are ranked in the top 25 and they both look more than capable of another extended playoff run.

At Andress, the Eagles have a mantra: W.A.B., which stands for, “We’re Andress Basketball.” It’s a reminder to the players that they’re a family.

“We all ride for each other, we’ve got each others backs and we’ll do whatever it takes to win the game,” said guard Devonte Owens.

This season, the Eagle boys are ranked 15th in the state; the girls are 17th, and both are cruising towards a sweep of District 1-5A.

“The banners let them know everything about what’s going on and I know some people say that’s getting spoiled, but no, that’s an expectation that we have,” boys head coach Jim Forbes said.

“Both teams have the motivation to prove to el paso that we’re good and we can do something and put El Paso on the map,” said guard Alliah Scallion.

They’ve combined for 52 wins and just seven losses this season and that family attitude is expansive. The Eagles work together to make both programs as successful as possible.

“We do a lot of things together and we have since I’ve been here,” girls head coach Wadrian Wallace said. “We spend a lot of time in the gym together, a lot of time in the weight room together.”

“It’s daily basketball talk every day about how the boys and girls are doing and we’re always bouncing ideas off each other. It’s fun to be around,” said boys assistant coach Gene Costello.

Both of their seasons ended much earlier than they hoped they would a year ago. Now, they’re putting in the work to avoid that fate again.

“We really want to get a lot farther and not lose in the first round,” said center Tionna Lidge. “We’ve been working a lot harder in practice and putting more shots up so we can be successful.”

“It’d be nice for the school and the campus and the area. It’d be a great feeling. I’d love for the girls to get as far as they can and the boys as well,” said Forbes.

After all, they’re Andress basketball, and they’ve come to expect nothing less.

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