From left, Moulton students Gavin Patton, 14, Trent Roznovsky, 15, Cameron Jalufka, 18, and Grant Geissen, 15, cheer on the Bobkatz during Tuesday's game.
Originally published on Tuesday, January 29, 2013
BY MIKE FORMAN
MOULTON - Dallas Rothbauer grew up here in Lavaca County, and it didn't take him long to figure out what mattered.
"We pretty much live for basketball," said Rothbauer, a senior. "In most towns, football is everything for them. But here, if you say Moulton, everyone knows it's about basketball."
The Bobkatz have made eight state tournament appearances and won three state titles, and they are rarely satisfied unless they make a long playoff run.
"That's one of the reasons I wanted to come back to Moulton is because I love expectations," said Moulton coach Kevin Fishbeck. "I can remember being a player here and it wasn't considered a really good year unless you went to the regional tournament."
Fishbeck is in his fourth season as head coach. He was a member of the 1997 Moulton team that went to the state tournament.
His assistant, Craig Barta, was a member of the 1991 team that won the state championship.
Fishbeck led the Bobkatz to the Class 1A, Division II regional finals last season and Moulton (19-9, 5-0) looks poised to make another run after Tuesday night's 67-34 District 31-1A win over Austwell-Tivoli.
"We're reaching it," said senior Matt Dornak, who had a cousin play on one of Moulton's state championship teams. "Coach is pushing us every day. We're not letting off. He's tough. He's pushed us to the max."
Fishbeck played for Sammie Koudelka, who won 1,045 games at Moulton. Fishbeck knew he was following a legend when he left Yoakum to return to his alma mater, but has become more comfortable with each season.
"It feels a lot different," he said. "I think the kids are a little more comfortable with me. They understand what we're trying to do. We're still doing a lot of the same things that we did, but just adjusting to me and how I handle things and go about the day-to-day game stuff."
Fishbeck still emphasizes pressure defense and runs virtually the same motion offense that Koudelka installed.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it," Fishbeck said. "We're doing the same things. We're playing defense. We're getting up and down the floor and we're running that motion offense and looking to get shots up."
The Bobkatz didn't shoot as well as they did in their first win over the Redfish (12-16, 2-3) this season. But it didn't matter with the number of turnovers and fast-break opportunities Moulton created.
"I think we can go far," Dornak said. "We need to play defense, play as a team and attack the hole."
The Bobkatz haven't been to the state tournament since winning their third championship in 1999. Realignment made the road back to Austin much tougher, but the Bobkatz don't seem to mind.
"I finally get my chance to play and live up to the dream everyone dreams about in Moulton," Rothbauer said. "That's about going to state and playing in the Drum."
NOTES• Bronson Zapata led Moulton against Austwell-Tivoli with 19 points, Dornak had 11 and Jayden Nieto added 10.
• Avery Camacho paced the Redfish with 11 points and Ismael Perez had 10.