By: Taylor Kauffman
As a large class of juniors, last year’s Dora team drew a lot of attention — aweing crowds with their hustle, grit and talent. Last year’s Class 1 State Championship came after a second place finish the year before. With an 86-10 record over a three year span, this group didn’t just put Dora on the map; they circled it in red.
But they won’t be defending that title for Dora as seniors, Isaac Haney transferred to Kickapoo but head coach Rick Luna, his nephew and his triplets of went to Viola, Arkansas.
“The nerves were there but as we get to playing and as we get to going we like playing with each other a lot,” said Viola senior Bryson Luna.
“You’ve got four move-ins, four Dora boys, and you don’t know how you’re going to click. They came down and just, you know, they’re small town boys like us,” Viola senior Blaine Marberry said.
The name across their chest has changed, but their brand of basketball hasn’t.
“No, it’s all based on heart and just want to get the win more than the other team,” Mason Luna said.
“The thing that makes us go is our toughness, and kind of our grittiness, I guess you would say,” said Viola head coach Rick Luna.
Mason, Bryson and Austin Luna balanced out by Longhorns seniors Blaine Marberry, Gage Harris, and a deep bench.
“They’re physical they gave us everything they had and they had us all up until the end,” said Greenwood senior Ryan Gibbons.
“Early in the year we dropped the game and we went down our coach Rippee in Bentonville, you know, we played them they’re 6A. We went to Jacksonville, who’s a 5A school. We’ve tried to beef up our schedule, just to where, when we get into a state run in Class 1, you know, it’s a we’ve been there done that type thing,” Rick said.
Even with that beefed up schedule, Viola has a 23-3 record, and the Lunas have a chance to end their high school careers with titles from two different states.
“That’s the ultimate goal is to get back to a state championship game and hopefully get another ring. I mean, we have a good shot but hopefully we can do it,” Auston Luna said.