Ready to win: varsity men’s basketball reflects and moves forward

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Photos provided by Elijah Lawrence

Senior Elijah Lawrence pulls up to shoot a basket.

As the clock hit triple zeroes on March 7, the varsity men’s basketball team walked off the court together for the final time. Beads of sweat rolled down their foreheads and hit the floor. This was the end. 

For last year’s seniors, their 61-70 loss to Dickinson in the final round before the state championship tournament was the end of their high school careers. For the rest of that team, it was the beginning of a redemption tour. They were fired up to begin from the minute that clock hit zero. 

Senior point guard Elijah Lawrence said he saw major improvement throughout the course of last season and expects that to continue into this season. 

“During all of district play I began to see improvement throughout the whole season,” Lawrence said. “Going undefeated in the first half of district play shows us our potential.” 

Although the team was proud of how they fought and where they finished last season, they remain unsatisfied. 

“We have not met our goal,” senior forward Steven Denning said. “We are hungry to return and surpass where we left off. State or bust.” 

The team enters this season with that mentality. With the freshman and formerly new members of varsity having a deep playoff run under their belt, they already have gained valuable experience, which they plan to help them play an even bigger role in the team’s success. 

The players, along with Coach Bruce Glover, believe that the key to continued success is to not get complacent. 

“Coach Glover has been preaching to the team that we cannot become complacent from last year,” junior forward Ty Palmer said. “We must stay humble and focused. This year will test our mental strength, but we are up for it.” 

The varsity team has been preparing both mentally and physically for the battle they know they will face this season. With expectations much higher after last season, the team will have to fight harder to exceed those expectations and play under that pressure, but their experienced coaching and almost fully upperclassmen roster will make it more than possible. 

This year’s title chase begins with a home non-conference game against Terry on Friday, Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m., and the team could not be more ready to begin the fight. The question in a few months will be if they can finish that fight – and they believe they can. 

“We are very excited and eager to begin this year,” Lawrence said. “I believe our humble mindset and hungry mentality will help us as we chase that championship.”