CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- For just the second time in school history, the Miller School boys basketball team enters the season as reigning state champions. That's a feeling the Mavericks don't want to give up anytime soon.
"You just want to keep winning and winning," said senior center Tariq Balogun. "Like, with me, it doesn't matter how many times I win. I want to keep winning and winning, whether its video games, sports, quizzes."
The Mavericks began their quest to repeat this past weekend, going 1-1 in a season opening tournament. The three point loss to Westtown did not sit well with the Mavericks at Monday night's practice.
Head coach Danny Manuel pushed his team through offensive and defensive drills, critiquing things that did not work.
"I just try to instill a dirt bag mentality in these guys," Manuel said. "When we're on the court, let's intimidate, let's dominate, lets make people uncomfortable."
That mentality helped the Miller School win its first state championship in nine years.
"Playing hard in practice," said senior guard Dae Dae Heard. "Taking game shots in practice. Playing every minute in practice like its a game, so we can prepare for the big stage."
"Like, I just always want to win," Balogun added. "Having it for the second time in a row would be the greatest thing."
The Mavericks lost two Division I basketball players from last season's team. Deshaun Wade is at East Carolina. State player of the year Aundre Hyatt reclassified and is attending LSU on a basketball scholarship.
"We just go out, play hard, doesn't matter who's here," Manuel said. "We're going to play our tails off every night. I believe in the philosophy, if you ain't rubbing, you ain't racing. So we're going to be out here, playing hard, in your face. That's just kind of how we roll."