Spartans Go Down Despite Furious Comeback!
52-50 Loss to Springfield Lutheran Ends
The North Greene Spartans boys’ basketball team lost their Class A Sectional game at Okawville 52-50, despite a furious comeback that fell just short of miraculous. Down eleven points with 2:32 left to play, this resilient group of players had two shots at winning the game in the final seconds. That’s my take-away from this game – and this season. This team was resilient.
This team did not play well each and every night throughout the season. At times, as the old saying goes, they played “like a bunch of 16-17-and-18-year olds. “ But that’s okay. That’s what they are.
I’m reminded of our dog, Oakley – an eight-month-old GoldenDoodle and a beautiful dog. But on occasion, several weeks removed from a bath at the groomer’s, she begins to smell – well – “a little doggie.” But that’s okay. She’s a dog. It’s okay to be what you are.
So, to say the boys played like a bunch of 16-17-and-18-year olds is not a disparaging remark. It’s okay to be what you are. It’s great, though, when you see a team rise above their circumstances and excel, to play above their expectations, to play - well, like adults. And this team has done that many times. A few games stick out – down to Liberty, they forced an overtime period (as they had done in a loss to Liberty at the Winchester Tournament a few weeks prior) to win; in the Routt Regional, they came from nine points down late in the game and stole the championship from a fine Greenfield Tigers team (which had beaten them twice this season, once as recently as the previous Friday night); and the Sectional game with Lutheran (11 down with 2-and-a-half minutes to play and just falling short of moving on to Friday's championship game).
This team always played hard. And they did so pretty consistently – night in, night out.So, we return to resiliency. Resiliency, if we listen to the experts, is what’s seriously lacking in our schools today. Those Asian kids? The ones that kick our butt on those math and science tests all the time? They’re not smarter than our American kids. They’re more resilient. So the thinking goes.
I don’t know where our students at North Greene stack up, generally, with other students from other countries. I suspect there is something to the resiliency argument. And our principals, Mark Scott and Keppen Clanton, and certainly our teachers may have a clearer view of how our typical North Greene students are performing on the resiliency gauge.
But this basketball team? This basketball team, my friends, was (IS) resilient. Of this I have no doubt.
And this resiliency will serve them well. I predict that, because of the experiences they have shared this basketball season and all the year-long preparation for the season with each other and their coaches, these young men will be:
· Better students (That’s good, as they will need to be life-long learners.)
· Better workers (Persistence has its rewards.)
· Better employees (They’ll be more valuable to their employers, translating into upward mobility, higher wages, greater job satisfaction.)
· In some cases, perhaps, better employers.
· Better husbands (Life is tough. Marriage can be tougher. But resilience will make for happier marriages.)
· Better dads (That bodes well for their children, their spouses, their extended families, our community.)
· Better people, leading happier lives.
So, as we mourn the difficult loss to another good team and the end of another basketball season, take time to also celebrate the resiliency of this fine North Greene Spartan team and the fruitful, successful lives these young men have ahead of them.
Congratulations to Coach Brett Berry and his coaching staff. And to the 2013-14 Boys Basketball team, I say,
NORTH GREENE JUNIOR-SENIOR HIGH
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