by Samuel Geelen, PAW Sports Writer
The Providence Academy boys’ varsity basketball team won their first sections games in the school’s history by defeating Howard Lake –Waverly- Winsted 57-47 and Watertown-Mayer 67-66 in double overtime. ESPN play-by-play announcers, Seniors Joe Baird and Matt Ferreira hosted “Thursday Night Showcase” in PA style firing up the fans for the first victory.
Saturday Primetime quarterfinals section victory with double OT was one of the most exciting games Joe and Matt had ever watched in their high school career. The Lions had a tough loss on “Super Tuesday” in Section 5AA semifinals to Breck 62-64, closing out the season.
I reached out to Coach Lamar Detert to hear his insights regarding the fan support during the first section game hosted at Providence Academy.
“ The fan support especially during the sections has been great. You have to love it when ESPN comes to the house and the parents and friends are great but the student section during Saturday’s double overtime win was off the charts. Their enthusiasm helped raise our level of excitement when we needed it most. All the “coach speak” in the world can’t replace what the crowd gave to the boys. That is what high school sports is all about and I hope that great example continues and that everyone learns to support each and every sport in the school with the same great enthusiastic and fun time we had the privilege to be part of the last couple of games. We have an opportunity to be different as a school and I hope we can, it would be a true victory for all of us.”
I asked Coach Detert to share his thoughts about the winning regular season.
“Much of the season saw us play well but not for all 36 minutes of a game. Whether it was mental or physical we thought we were missing out on 5 minutes in each game and against the stepped up competition we had this year you just can’t give away possessions or miss easy opportunities. Add that to a number of injuries and illnesses we felt we underperformed on some nights even though we had a winning record. To the credit and character of the team we figured it out and started playing great team basketball at the end of the season going in to tournament play. Basketball is the longest season in high school sports so what you do in December and January is rarely remembered come tournament time. We aren’t as flashy as some teams and we don’t have one guy you have to stop but we have become a team that values the ball, understands shot selection and one that will work its tail off and battle you from start to finish.”
Our seniors have stepped it up and their leadership role on the practice and game floor at the end of the season has been a big plus for us.”
“We don’t focus on any one player and our team shares the ball as well as any high school team out there. Our defense has been seldom noticed but we are keeping teams on the average under 50 points a game, which is outstanding.”
“We’ve had a variety of starting lineups, leading scorers and with the injuries and illnesses the “next man up” approach and our players being able to perform when called on is a tribute to their commitment to the team.”
“Whether somebody plays the whole game, just a few minutes or just contributes in practice the number one goal of this team has been to be successful by being there for each other. The few weeks have been very enjoyable not because we have won games but because of the hard work and the mental focus the young men have displayed day after day. I am very proud of all of them for their dedication and sacrifice as well growing as young men on and off the floor. We have said since day one of taking the program over if we do things the right way on and off the floor…winning will take care of itself. What no one sees are the things away from the court. Saturday’s post-game locker room will be one to remember. Our seniors deserve a lot of credit for stepping up and setting the tone not only now, but also for the future. As we said in the summer….tradition starts here.”
Congratulations to all the players of Boys basketball on your two consecutive winning seasons and the first section wins!