ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Highland High School is proving to be one of the top teams in Class 4-A this season. Led by seven seniors, the Hornets are off to a 6-1 start to the season and have hopes of returning to the state championship game.
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Justin Woody is the man behind Highland’s recent success. In his four previous seasons as head coach of the Hornets, Woody’s accolades include three state tournament appearances and a second-place finish in 2020. Now in 2022 with so many playing having big-game experience, Woody believes this squad might be his best yet.
“I think we have the potential to be the best team I’ve coached here in my five years,” said Woody. “We’ve got guards, we have a lot of pieces where we’re deeper than we’ve ever been. We can play eight, nine, ten guys, so that’s really encouraging for me.”
One of the most encouraging players on the roster is senior big man, Jose Murillo. The Chihuahua, Mexico native has only been playing basketball for five years but moved to Albuquerque with hopes of improving his basketball career. So far, moving to the U.S. has been a successful move for Murillo. The six-foot-nine senior is averaging a double double with just under 20 points and 12 rebounds per game.
Murillo clearly has talent, and he’s hoping to start receiving some recognition for his hard work on the court. “I want to be the Gatorade player of the year,” said Murillo. “I want to have a scholarship for any university, so I can continue playing my game.”
Up next on Highland’s schedule is the Albuquerque Metro Tournament. It is an opportunity for the Hornets to match up against some of the top 5-A teams in the state before starting district play against Belen on January 21.