Story by Michaela Baker, Madison Metts and Mendy Harris
With February coming to an end and March around the corner it only signifies one thing: basketball is in full swing. This year, both the girl’s varsity basketball team and the boys varsity basketball team have made it to the playoffs for the state championship.
“I think it’s awesome. I think it is a really good thing for the school and the community and for these athletics to be succeeding,” varsity boys basketball coach Matt Brown said. “Especially after everything we have been through the past week. It’s really special what both teams have done this far.”
For the boys, the work is not over even though they have made it to the playoffs.
“We just have to kept getting better and better everyday during practice and focus. Right now, come play off time, its all about heart and who wants it more and who wins the hustle points during the games and making sure we know our opponents, that’s the biggest thing,” Brown said.
This season has brought the boys team together in hopes to win a state championship for the first time in the school’s history.
“We’re really coming together as a team. We are playing well defensively. Offensively we are kind of struggling. We struggled on saturday night to score the ball but our defense came up big. Everyone is really buying into what we are trying to do,” Brown said.
The girls varsity basketball team is familiar with the scene of playoffs as they have made it through and won the state championship for the past two years. This year, they hope to do the same.
“I would like to end my senior year with a third state championship ring on my hand and the opportunity to share that wonderful feeling with all the newcomers on the team, senior Halie Campbell said. “It would be great to know that this team defied the odds that the community placed on our backs.”
Strengths and weaknesses determine what the team needs to focus on in upcoming preparation.
“Our strength would have to be our defense when we play it right, senior Sydney Shull said. Our weakness would have to be communication on the court because we don’t do it as well as we could.”
The bond formed on the court strenghts the team as a whole. Senior Julian Heyward says although the team has been faced with challenges, they do not plan on stopping anytime soon.
“The season has been a very bumpy road, Julian said. “It definitely took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to get here. From injuries, to heartbreaking buzzer beater losses, and Cape’s death. It’s definitely been a ride that I will remember forever. I wouldn’t trade it for the world and the relationships that have been built on this team are outstanding.”
Making it this far is just another incentive to go all the way.
“This should just show people in our community that Dutch Fork Basketball should never be underestimated because hard work makes dreams possible,” Halie said. “Like Coach Norris told us one day before practice, “If there is a voice in your head telling you that you can’t do something, do it anyway and that voice will be silenced.” Third time’s a charm.”