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Reflections on the state tournament journey
By Gina Anderson
Mar. 16, 2023 8:32 am
The Boys’ Basketball Tournament is over. The champions have been crowned, and the experience is cherished by every boy that participated. There’s a brotherhood among teammates that lasts a lifetime. The stories will be retold as the tellers go from teenagers to old men. It’s just that kind of experience.
The Tigers lost to a team that was taller, a lot taller, but yet they were in it until the last buzzer. They can take satisfaction in the fact that they gave Grand View Christian the experience of being behind, of not dominating, and of scoring much below their average. The final score was 61-51 … misleading because the Tigers had to foul in the waning seconds and hope they missed. But they had a moral victory of leaving everyone in the arena with the knowledge that they deserved to be there.
Disappointed … only fleetingly. I was so proud of each and every one of them. I wanted another game for them and if I’m honest, for me too. I didn’t want the season to be over.
But it is what it is and here are some moments I will remember:
•The absolutely exciting, heart-stopping road they traveled to get to Des Moines. Exciting, yes, but hard on old hearts.
•The solid team they became. One of my favorite things written about them was “they not only play with each other, they play for each other.”
•The joy on their faces when the beat WACO and then Winfield for District champs and when they finished off Marquette Catholic for the Substate crown.
•The two sets of brothers on the team, and the experience the “little” brothers had as they watched their “big” brothers play. What lessons!
•Hearing the strains of the Tiger school song float over the arena courtesy of Arnie Anderson and the NL Pep Band.
•Watching the defeated teams be magnanimous as they shook hands and sort of “tipped their hat” to the individual players with awkward hugs.
•Seeing coaches take an extra second to let opposing players know they respect their game; it means a lot.
•Seeing New London turn out to support these kids as they do whenever the occasion arises … small town living at its best!
The boys have moved on as track and soccer will soon be in full swing. As an avid follower and grandma, I want to take this moment to say “thanks for the memories, they are priceless!”