2007-02-08 / News

Boys basketball team considers season a success

By Adrienne Downing

The boys are all smiles despite a close season ending loss. In back, from left, are Coach Eric Bush, Drew Waddington, Matt Baptista, Christian Tiexiera, Ryan Southworth, Steve Santos, Will Spar, Ben North, Ben Thompson. In front, from left, are Owen Heath, Dan Harpool, Kevin, Danny Bailey, James Chamberlain, Christian Elerbee, Jacob Morris, Dylan Vogel. Photos by Julie Bailey The boys are all smiles despite a close season ending loss. In back, from left, are Coach Eric Bush, Drew Waddington, Matt Baptista, Christian Tiexiera, Ryan Southworth, Steve Santos, Will Spar, Ben North, Ben Thompson. In front, from left, are Owen Heath, Dan Harpool, Kevin, Danny Bailey, James Chamberlain, Christian Elerbee, Jacob Morris, Dylan Vogel. Photos by Julie Bailey With 30 seconds to go in the game against Curtis Middle School on Monday afternoon, the Lawn School boys' basketball team looked like they might pull off a second straight tournament win and extend their season at least one more game.

"It was back and forth the whole game. We would get down and then come back," Eric Bush, head coach, explained. "They (Lawn) did not let down the whole game. Unfortunately, our downfall was that we did not shoot well from the free-throw line and we usually do."

The Warriors started out in an 8-0 hole, but after a timeout, they settled down and hit two consecutive 3-pointers to put them right back in the game. After being down by 10 points in the third quarter, the Warriors went on their own 8-0 run to bring them within 2.

Head Coach Eric Bush coaches his team during a time out in Monday's game against Curtis Middle school. Head Coach Eric Bush coaches his team during a time out in Monday's game against Curtis Middle school. "From there it was up 2, down 2 for the rest of the game," Bush said.

Ben North's 3-point shot put the team up by 2 with 30 seconds remaining in the game, but after a timeout Curtis answered with their own 3 and took a one-point lead.

"We were down by one with 20 seconds to go, and we had to foul them. They made 1 of 2 and were down by 2," the coach explained. "We got the ball back with 10 seconds left, but we just couldn't put them away."

Curtis took the game with a fi- nal score of 54-52.

The boys ended regular season play with a 3-11 record, a mark which Bush says belies the teams success this year.

"We made a lot of progress from last year. In 8 out of our 11 losses, we lost by 6 points or less," he explained. "It was very nice to still be in it at the end of the game."

Maturity was part of the reason the team made strides this season, with eight of 16 players being eighth-graders who had played on the team last year and four of those having played since sixth grade.

Bush really noticed what a difference this made in the team's first game of the second half of the season against Thompson Middle School.

Thompson had beaten the Warriors by 32 points in the first matchup of the season, but Lawn did not let them off so easily the second time around.

"We only lost that second game against them by 2 points and that was because we just ran out of time. That was when I really think they started to understand their ability," Bush explained.

Rebounding was also a key for the team this year, with Ben Thompson pulling in 20 rebounds for the season.

"Ben was one of those kids who started the year not really knowing how good he really was," Bush said. "He is very tall and he poses a big mismatch for the other team and he is very athletic."

Also helping out with rebounding was Steve Santos, the team's all-round, go-to player.

"He was good inside and out and he rebounded very well," the coach said.

It is hard to pin down an offensive leader for the team because, Bush said, that everyone was a contributor.

"It was someone different every game. For instance, in our first tournament game we had four different players in double figures," he noted.

The defensive leader for the team was Christian Tiexiera.

"He is a really good defender and he would just give everything that he had out there," Bush said.

Although the free-throws just would not go in for the Warriors on Monday night, the team did enjoy practicing them this season.

Bush continued an annual tradition by having the team turn their practice free-throws into new uniforms for the team.

Each player collected sponsors to make a donation based on how many throws they would complete out of 100.

"It worked well because it was something that they were already doing as part of practice," Bush said. "They would shoot 20 freethrows during each practice and then record the number that they had made."

Danny Bailey, a seventh-grader on the team, said "It was a great way to earn money and it definitely helped our game."

The coach noted that it was good for the team to feel that they had earned the uniforms while improving their game.

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