On Friday night, February 4, when our varsity basketball team entered the Lusher Gym, they were greeted by a standing-room-only crowd who honored them with cheers. I was moved as the crowd stood up and clapped, making it obvious which team had the most fan support. After another thrilling JV victory and a very spirited warm-up, I told the boys that they had to do their part. We asked our fans to arrive early and pack the gym – and they did – so it was up to the players to do their part. And wow, what a dominating performance it was.
Odell Beckham held the city’s leading scorer (all classes) to 12, which is 15 points under his average. He also scored 17 points on 3 three-pointers and an incredible dunk to finish the game. Duke Douglas, our super sophomore, came back with a spectacular second half after sitting out most of the first half in foul trouble. Duke’s dominance on the boards and tough defense added to his stellar performance while scoring 11 points. Will Bryan’s effort off of the bench was awesome. His defense, rebounding, and solid offensive play really helped the team excel. Braden Weaver was all over the court, defending, cutting, screening, and passing. He truly is our spark plug! Also, solid performances by Sam Kohnke and Michael Hagan-Daniel led to some quality playing time for our substitutes, Saunders Alpaugh, Jonathan Drennan, Joren Grue, Kendall and Kyle Lewis, and freshman sensation Justin Harrell. The 61-37 final score left no doubt who was the better team.
I would like to single out one player whose leadership has been outstanding. On a team where everyone contributes in their own way, Michael Markowitz has proven to be a rock-solid leader. He is prepared daily, and is insistent on the highest level of effort from his teammates every day. He not only expects it from his teammates, he is the example! With leadership like that, I am looking forward to an extended playoff run this year.
Returning to the lineup after a concussion is senior guard Mitchell Bernstein, who brings intensity to every practice. Also, after six months of rehab, we have the return of six-foot, seven-inch junior post, Hudson McAshan, known to his teammates simply as “Huddy.” We are very excited about his return.
The overall record for the Greenies stands at 20-4, 4-1 in District 10-2A, with a statewide power ranking of 7th. We are going to look into whether or not we need to have a playoff game with Lusher in order to determine an outright champion. If both teams win their final 3 district games, and if the final rankings will require a run-off game, then we will definitely play it at a neutral site (De LaSalle), on Monday, February 21, at 7:00 p.m. We will let everyone in the Greenie Nation know when the plans are final.
Special thanks to our faculty and student body! Not only were we the loudest fans, but we did it with class. Our students were well-behaved while cheering frantically.
Thank you all; and we will look forward to packing our own gym this Tuesday night versus the # 11 ranked 3A team in the state, the Parkview Baptist Eagles. There are three games on slate with the freshman tipping off at 5:00 p.m., JV at 6:00 p.m., and the varsity following around 7:15 p.m.