Senior guard Lio Aguirre has helped the Ankeny boys’ basketball team to an 11-6 record, including an 8-5 mark in the CIML Conference. He is averaging 12.4 points and a team-high 6.3 rebounds per game.
Aguirre scored 10 points on Friday as the Hawks posted a 76-63 victory over eighth-ranked Ankeny Centennial, ending a three-game losing streak in the crosstown rivalry. He also grabbed six rebounds, dished out five assists and had two steals.
Here is some inside info on Aguirre:
Congratulations on the win over Centennial. How did it feel to win what could be your final game against the Jaguars?
It feels really good to win this game, just to know that I ended this rivalry on a good note.
With the postseason approaching, how important was it to break your team’s two-game losing skid?
I think winning this game was huge for our confidence going into the playoffs. We are close to where we need to be by March, and this definitely helped.
The game got a little intense in the second half, and you were involved in a double technical at one point. Was it just a matter of guys being competitive?
Yeah, high-pressure situations like this bring out the competitiveness in everyone. It’s all love to (Centennial’s Chase) Schutty–we were just out there battling.
Your point guard, Carson Johnson, returned to the lineup after being out with a hand injury for the last week and erupted for 38 points. Did you expect him to play so well with a wrap on his hand?
I’ve been Carson’s teammate for three years now, so no…I wasn’t surprised at this performance. He knew how big this game was, and he’s proven that he’s capable of doing that every single night no matter the circumstance.
Your former teammate, Luke Winkel, had a career-high 37 points for the Jaguars. What makes him so difficult to stop?
Luke’s change of pace and finishing at the rim is super hard to guard, especially when he can shoot it from 30 feet out as well. He also has a great basketball IQ. I have a lot of respect for him.
Your team has four games left in the regular season, beginning with Monday’s contest at home against Johnston–which just handed CIML Conference leader Waukee a 66-45 loss. Were you surprised by that score?
At this point in the year, no CIML score will surprise me. The league has been so back and forth this year. I think pretty much anyone can beat anybody on any given night.
Your team will play at No. 3 Valley on Friday with a chance to possibly spoil the Tigers’ conference title hopes. After losing to the Tigers on Tuesday without Carson, how different do you think this game will be now that he’s back?
With Carson back, we have an even bigger chance at winning. The last game without him we battled and were close until near the end when it slipped away from us. We need to focus on taking care of business Tuesday (at Urbandale) first, though.
You’ve been joined in the lineup this season by your brother Rio, a sophomore who is averaging 13.3 points. Did you expect him to make such a huge impact this year, and have you tried to help him with the transition to the varsity level?
It’s been a blessing to play with Rio, and he knew that he needed to step up this year. He’s that kind of player that is only going to improve with time. I’ve been at his side, encouraging and teaching him about playing varsity basketball, and he has definitely gotten the hang of it.
Your team fell out of last week’s rankings, but the win over Centennial probably puts you back in the mix for a potential No. 1 seed in a substate tournament. How important do you think it is to get a No. 1 seed?
It would be great to get a No. 1 seed, but no matter what seed we get it’s all about being ready to play whoever is in front of you. Having a 1 or 2 to get a bye would be nice, though.
You were also a starting defensive lineman on the state runner-up Ankeny football team. Have you decided if you will play football or basketball in college, and where are you at in the recruiting process?
Yes, I’m going to be attending Clarke University on a football scholarship, but I am also planning to play basketball there.
Do you know what you want to study?
I’m going to study either biology or exercise science in Clarke’s pre-(physical therapy) program.