Boys Varsity Basketball Recap

The basketball season is one of the longest and most time consuming among high school sports in Alaska. After over three months of play the Dimond varsity boys basketball team fell short of the state tournament by one game. Their loss in the third-place game of the region tournament stopped them short of the state tournament, what they had been striving towards all season. “I expected a state championship, nothing less,” said senior post player Eric Hueners. Every player on the team expected to do better than their final outcome showed. The season started with a month of practicing in December that took them straight into a trip to Chicago over winter break. “Traveling helps a team bond,” said coach Rob Galosich. “It gives players a lot of time together that brings them closer together, we also saw much better competition while competing in the tournament down there.” The team played very well against the competition and rolled into conference play with a headstart on the conference. In January they won every game except for a loss to Cordova and Service. Their most notable win was against the number-one ranked team in the state, West Anchorage. In this game they showed impressive control of the ball against a much more athletic opponent. Leading into February, however, they lost some of their poise and accumulated three losses, one being their second loss to Service. Even against much weaker opponents such as South Anchorage they were having trouble putting up any great number of points. During their mid-season struggles, many fans stopped going to the games; however, there was a group of fans that stuck by the team’s side through bad times. “The sixth man,” as they called themselves, was always the rowdiest group of students sitting in the bleachers. One of the most notable was Trevor Helton, who attended all but two of the team’s regular season games. When asked to pick out the single best play of the season he said, “My favorite play was when Dylan blocked the 6’4’’ player from Bartlett.” The team did struggle in mid-March but gained back momentum leading into the region tournament during the first week of March. The most crucial of their wins was against Bartlett to end their season with a record of 15-7 and give them a third-place rank at the end of the season. Since only three teams advance to the state tournament, this seed was very important. In the first game of the tournament they soundly beat South and moved on to the semifinals against West. They had one of their best games of the season but lost narrowly to West, which put them in a sudden death game to advance to the state tournament. In this game they lost for the third time in one season to Service, stopping short of their championship winning goal. Throughout the highs and lows of the season, however, each and every player kept their heads up and had a positive attitude. “Dylan, Ryden, and Luke were especially consistent for us,” said Galosich. “It was unfortunate to not make the state tournament but we are already preparing to win a state championship next year.”