Tonight when the #5 seed boys’ basketball team faced #4 seed Thomas MacLaren in the first round of the District 8 playoffs, there was a lot at stake. A win would secure two more weeks of basketball with a final four appearance this weekend, and at least a regional game next week. A loss would mean hanging up the high tops, ending the season on the spot.
With so much on the line, both teams went into battle leaving it all on the court. The Kodiaks were led by senior captains Matthew C. (14 points and 4 steals) and John N. (10 points and 2 steals) who played the entire night with a sense of urgency. Matt was 3 for 3 from behind the arc, hitting his final shot at the buzzer to end his career. John capitalized at the charity stripe, making 6 of 6 free throws during crunch time to keep CSS within reach.
All excuses aside, CSS was not 100% at the tip-off. Junior captain Luke T., who has been leading the Kodiaks in scoring and rebounding most of the season, has been sidelined with an ankle injury for weeks. Tonight, with so much on the line, he taped it up and played ball. His presence inside made an impact at the defensive end, and his four points were timely. Sophomore Ben M., who just recently recovered from a foot injury, was out of commission with the flu.
The new coaching staff raised the bar this season, and the boys responded. As a result, the 11-9 Kodiaks had a winning season, competed hard in every game, fine tuned their fundamentals, and loved their team. Tonight’s loss was a heartbreak for sure, especially for the seniors; still, the future looks bright for Kodiak basketball.