This years’ Eagles basketball team has worked hard and we’re proud to say they took their league by storm. Last year, they saw little success as a new team that was forging relationships and learning new skills. This year, their hard work and conditioning has paid off! With a wide mix of ages and skill levels, Coach Reynolds capitalized on their diversity and continued to build on what was started last year. Watching the team grow over this past season has been inspiring. They have generated excitement among their fans and we can’t wait to see where they will go in the years to come.
Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with the players and see this season through their eyes. As they told their stories and laughed about spills and plays, you could see how this team has grown together. There is a distinct comradery and respect for one another. They acknowledged that their communication on the court increased as the season marched on. Their rebounds were stronger, too.
In terms of sportsmanship and playing against skill, they counted Davidson as their favorite team in competition. But of all the games they played this season, playing against the defending champions, Bedford Road Collegiate, for the City Finals was a game they will talk about for a while. This game was intense and went into double overtime. Tying the game, they started their first overtime play. As the clock moved along, they found themselves down by 3 points. With just seconds to go, Brett Krochak gave up a 3-shot from the far corner. Making the impossible shot, he tied the game again and they went into their 2nd overtime. In the end, they took this game 87-82. This is first time LCA has won Cities – something this team can be extremely proud of!
As they continued through the year, one parent commented on how even the younger players became contributing members of the team. They were learning to hold their own and she loved watching their confidence grow. As a team, they started trusting each other more. Qualifying for Hoopla meant hard work and each team member had to stay sharp and depend on their teammates. “They are passionate about the game…It was a very good year.”
Another shining moment was during the Conference Finals, when Elias Allcock fired the ball from half-court, beating the buzzer, and made the shot. Victorious in the Conference and Regional Finals, they set their faces towards Hoopla.
Going into Hoopla, the boys had high hopes and their fans were there to cheer them on. Their first game was against Unity. This game was one of their biggest disappointments as Unity took the game 59-54. However, they quickly picked themselves up and prepared for the Bronze Medal match against Indian Head. At St. Joseph High school, the gym was packed and Eagles fans were poised and ready. The beginning of the game saw Indian Head players coming off the bench with a fierceness, quickly gaining ground. But the Eagles came back and did not stop. Eagles’ fans jumped up and high-fived as their favorite team secured the Bronze Medal at 72-57.
Taking stock of how far they’ve come, the team is already looking ahead to next year. More determined than ever, they are committed to continuing to grow in their teamwork and to take the City Championship once more. They want to return to Hoopla stronger and faster. Talking to the team, I asked Jacky to sum up this season in one word: “Successful”, he said. We could not agree more. Way to go Eagles – you have made us proud!