Boys basketball falls short

Spartan hearts sunk more and more as Fort Zumwalt South’s score continued to increase while the time drained from the clock. By the time the clock struck zero, the team and the fans were both disappointed with the way the season had to end, but not at all ashamed of the effort shown by each and every player.

Once it became apparent the game was lost, the fans continued to offer their support. A “thank you seniors” chant was said as the senior players walked off the basketball court for the last time in their high school careers.

“The fans mean a lot. When they showed up, they got us pumped and ready to play, and keep them going. They were a great sixth man,” senior Ryan Miller said.

The fan support was appreciated not only by the seniors, but according to junior Derrick Puni, everyone else on the team as well.

“Thank you to the fans because you made these games more fun and got us pumped out there all season. Guys like Dan Davidson, Dean Ballenger and Josh Wade were there the entire season, and we appreciated their dedication to us,” said junior Derrick Puni.

Despite the loss, the Spartans gave the crowd plenty to cheer about. The team went into the second half with the score very close at 28-27. After a long run by South, the boys were able to battle back with a 7-0 run themselves, bringing the game to within three. After that however, South got hot and the team couldn’t keep up.

When it was all said and done, the loss dropped the team to 10-17 on the year, a record that does not seem to reflect the team’s recent success. Whether it was injuries, or troubles in coming together, the team had trouble breaking its losing ways early on.

“We had some ups and downs, but we made a lot of progress,” Miller said.

As the season neared the end, the team started showing the winning ways it hoped for at the start of the season, winning four of its last six before Friday’s loss.

The way the team got hot after a rough start made Puni believe the season was indeed a success.

“I think it was a successful season because it started out so bad, and we came together to get hot at the end,” Puni said.

Head Coach Larry Anders also thought the end of the season was a success.

“You tell me at the beginning of the season we’d be in the district championship game, and I’d definitely call that a success,” Coach Anders said.

At the end of the day, the sadness and agony of defeat were downplayed by the fact that the team had such a memorable finish.

“We worked hard in practice and came together at the end of the season, and that’s what I’ll remember about this year,” said Puni.