I can’t tell you how badly I wish I was writing a different ending story this morning. Sadly, it is what it is. On Saturday, “the boy” and his Wildcat teammates entered the sweet 16 of the final end of the season tournament. With their eyes set on 4 wins to the finish (and a very tough bracket despite being a top seed), it all ended after the first game. It was quick and it was a tough battle. Although they held Dublin to only 7 (you read that right…SEVEN) points in the entire second half, the shots they needed to fall did not. The lead which was 14 at halftime proved to be too big to overcome. They would lose by 5 and just like that the season was over.

I could take this space to complain about the officiating (which was nonexistent) but the reality is they were consistently bad on both ends of the floor. It wasn’t until after the first half the kids realized they had to match the overaggressiveness since it wasn’t being called. At halftime I challenged them to play with heart and leave it all on the court. I told them to “flip the script” and score in the second half. They came so close. They showed a ton of heart. I’m proud of all 10. Just wish they could have kept playing for their sake, not ours. They deserved a better finish. The final record for the season was 17-7.

I have had the privilege of being able to help coach “the boy” from the first time he laced them up. Now the reality is starting to set in that I only have one more season to do so. After next year, we send this core group of kids off to the middle school. The kids represented in this picture are the core group that will make up the future middle and high school basketball teams. The travel basketball group is the “minor leagues” for the area high schools. I can say, with confidence, that the future of Hilliard Davidson Basketball is in good hands. Not only in wins and loses, but in character and quality kids.

There is no rest for “the boy”. He’ll pick up his baseball glove in a week and begin spring practice for travel baseball. He’s also been invited to play in a few tournaments with some other teams (AAU). It was a great ride this season. Well done “50”. You continue to make me proud in WHO you are, not just what you accomplish.