by Glenda Schoefield
This past weekend the varsity Lions put one more giant paw print on the path of their quest to take the Lyons all the way to participate in the State tournament for the first time since 1984. They headed into the District 7 tournament as the third seed, which proved to be the perfect spot for them to launch their successful bid for the district championship.
Friday night found the boys watching as the Lady Lions overcame the Heritage Lady Eagles in overtime, not knowing they would soon be playing out a similar scene with the Eagles. The first half was a mixed bag defined by solid shooting and key defensive contributions from several members of the pride ,along with a frustrating build up of fouls leaving the Lions heading into the locker room up by a slim three points. Back on the court ,the third quarter was marked by the loss of the game’s top scorer, Chris Boucher, as he shockingly received fouls four and five in a row. This was followed by the loss of Aaron Nichols with a fifth foul in the fourth and a troublesome high count on several others. In the end the Lions regrouped, overcame, and went on to do what they do best. Each and every player stepped up for that crucial play when needed coming out with a confidence boosting 53-51 win in overtime and primed for the championship round.
All week long the welcome possibility of a Saturday match up with the Resurrection Christian Cougars was highly anticipated and was only made sweeter with the added incentive of the District title at stake. This would mark the third time the two teams have met this year. Each of the previous times the Lions fell just shy of a victory, but left the court wanting another chance knowing they could get it right. The first quarter opened with the Lions on top as they came out shooting and quickly developed a small, but impressive lead. The tide turned in the second quarter as the Cougars came back with an offensive surge scoring thirty points while the Lions suffered the loss of Taylor Keen to injury.
Coach Maguire took full advantage of the half to remind the Lions that they had to fight for this one, which was instantly demonstrated in the third quarter by the unexpected and explosive return of Jesse Fisher. That wave of energy resounded throughout the Lions bench and everyone stepped it up another notch, being play makers and turning the third quarter into a roller coaster of highs and lows for the fans as the lead went back and forth several times. The fourth quarter saw the Lions steadily and surely take command with individual determination and solid team work actually giving them room to breathe in the last two minutes, leaving no doubt they had earned the District Championship Title with a final score of 68-57.
The final challenge on the path to that goal of a State appearance is the single elimination Regional tournament which will be hosted by Lions, Friday the 4th, at Stanley Lake High School in Westminster beginning with a match against the Akron Rams. We welcome you to come out and join us as we make some noise for both the Lions and Lady Lions.