“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity” is a quote first attributed to Roman philosopher Seneca.
But when I first heard the quote it was attributed to legendary University of Texas head football coach Darrell Royal in the halls of the Longhorns athletic facility.
No matter who the quote belongs to, the point of it remains the same — we make our own luck.
So we might call the George Ranch High School boys basketball team’s run to the Region III-6A championship game this past weekend lucky.
It makes some sense.
The Longhorns entered the 2019 playoffs without a postseason victory to their name.
But that would be ignoring the fact that head coach Charlie Jones and the Longhorns had been clearly on the cusp of success over the past few years.
George Ranch had 54 wins over the previous four seasons under Jones and the Longhorns always had the same profile of stifling defense and quality shot selection.
But the margin for error has been razor thin with the Longhorns first playing in deep districts will fellow LCISD teams in Class 5A and then adjusting to the deeper field in Class 6A.
“I feel like we were one game away for the last three years from doing the same thing,” Jones said. “We were always playing better basketball by the end of the year but we ran out of time.
“This year, the kids just loved each other and they trusted me.
“I trusted them.
“And we got to do something special for Richmond/Rosenberg.”
Jones’ style and roster construction paid off with a starting five who for the most part could defense any position and switched at each transition to frustrate shot takers.
This playoff run may been a Cinderella story but the Longhorns have been craving the glass slippers for years.
But Jones has a playoff run to fall back on and build upon for the culture of the program. A culture that has been meticulously crafted by Jones and his assistant coaches Aaron Anderson, Brandon Brooks, Mark Richardson and Jason Thompson.
One final note I will add about this run: I don’t know any coach that fellow basketball coaches are happier to see have this playoff success.
Coaches always speak positively of their fellow coaches to the media. At this point it has become boilerplate.
But more often then not when coach Jones’ names comes up in conversation, coaches add “I like him” or “he does it the right way.”
That mindset for coach Jones was reflected in his team’s success this year and it has been a long time coming.
Reach Ryan Dunsmore at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter at @fbheraldsports and @duns_more.