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Reflection on the Season

by Aidan Kunst `20

On Saturday, March 9th, our season ended. The 2nd-ranked Barr Reeve Vikings beat us 48-41 in the regional semifinal at Loogootee. I think a lot of us are still not over it.

When I moved here with my dad from North Carolina and joined the basketball team, I didn’t really know what to expect. Of course, you hear the stories about the level of passion in Indiana high school basketball, but I don’t think you can truly understand it until you have experienced it firsthand. While I didn’t start and wasn’t a big-time contributor to the team, I found myself obsessed with how our team was doing, and how the teams in our sectional were doing by comparison.

Despite finishing the regular season at 9-11, our team had hope. In the EDS locker room, there’s a goal written on the whiteboard. It reads, “Win Sectionals.” That’s the beauty of high school basketball in Indiana. For a team like us, who had struggled in the regular season, every team was 0-0 going into sectional play, and we were able to hit the reset button.

Our first game was against the Jeeps of Northeast Dubois, and we felt pretty confident. We won by ten, and tried not to make a big deal about it, because Wood Memorial awaited just 24 hours later. Wood was tough, but despite our team blowing a 12-point halftime lead, making it 30-30 going into the fourth quarter, I never doubted. After Grant Allyn hit two free throws to go up two, there were five seconds left. Wood’s star forward Paxon Bartley put up a shot from the right wing that looked as if it would drop right into the net and…

He missed! We were Sectional Champions! It was truly one of the best feelings, as we cut the nets down and took pictures afterwards. It meant so much to see the Day School family unite around us and support us, and even though we are a much smaller school than Wood Memorial, we were just as, if not more, loud than they were.

Coach Brooks preached all next week to build on our goal now that we had achieved it. There was a buzz around the school as we prepared for Regionals; we were one of two Evansville teams still alive and it was really exciting.

Barr Reeve, who has just two losses, is the definition of a powerhouse. They have dominated Class A for years, and everyone outside of EDS gave us no chance to compete with them. It would have been easy to give in and fold just like we were expected to.

Coach Schultheis had said all year that we can splinter, but we can’t fold. We can come close to giving in, but we have to stay together. We knew we were expected to get blown out. But we also knew we had nothing to lose, and that was our mindset going into Saturday’s game.

We controlled that game from the tip. We had an effective gameplan, and we didn’t trail for the majority of the first three quarters. Going into the fourth, we were up three points. Nobody had expected this, but it was nothing unusual for us. However, we couldn’t hold it, and they were able to escape with a win after some clutch shots and an effective substitution.

There were many tears shed afterwards, and it was certainly an awful feeling as Barr Reeve won their second regional game by thirty points, and easily advanced to Semi-State. But to see the Day School community rally around us and make a ton of noise during the game was awesome.

Now, it’s easier to accept the loss. All good things come to an end, and we earned the respect of Barr Reeve, as well as the media. But it’s tough to see our seniors Scotty Schultheis and Cam Monroe go out like this. We wanted their last game to be played at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, in the State Championship. We’ve come to grips with it, and so have they, and it was a ton of fun winning sectionals and making our unexpected run.

Thanks to everyone who came out and supported us, and I hope you’ll do the same when we raise that banner. As for us, don’t worry. We’ll be back.

Sectional Champions