Basketball moves on in regionals


Izy Scott, Assistant Pulse Editor

The LT boys basketball team has earned a Conference title with a record of 10-2 and a bright-looking future as they continue on in the state tournament. Its first game of the season ended with a bitter loss to Stevenson High School, but following the defeat, the team accomplished an eight-game win streak, paving the way for the team’s conference success.

“To start our season against Stevenson helped to quickly show the kids what elite varsity basketball is like,” head varsity boys basketball Coach Tom Sloan said.

A heavy loss with a score difference of 32 points against Stevenson, however, may have been the motivation needed to turn the tide in LT’s favor for the rest of the season.

“The kids really do trust themselves,” Sloan said. “They trust their teammates, and they rally around each other when times like that come up.”

The players’ only day off during season is Sunday, and their two-and-a-half-hour practices cover basic endurance, strength, technique, strategy and special plays in order to prepare for game situations, Sloan said. And with an undefeated overtime record, the team has proven to be prepared for high-stress situations.

“During practices, we try to bring as much energy as possible so we’re in shape and ready for games, so it makes the games seem easier than practice,” point guard Danny O’Malley ‘15 said. “We’re ready to go and give ourselves the best opportunity to win.”

From the boys’ pre-game huddle to after-practice bonding, the team has created a strong cohesion among themselves which translates on the court.

“Everyone has a good time and we all enjoy being around each other, so there’s definitely a strong positive atmosphere,” forward Joey Brunner ‘15 said.

Positivity has been an important factor, especially when key player Sean Lannan ‘15 received a wrist injury early in the season. This setback, however, gave opportunities to others on the team.

“When Lannan got injured, that was a big hit to our team because he was one of our starters,” Brunner said. “But a lot of the others stepped up and we were able to get some other guys more minutes, which helped improve other players on the team.”

Overcoming injury and persevering to gain a successful record, the boys are on their way to a well-earned run in the state tournament.

“We have a lot of interchangeable parts,” Sloan said. “Different guys can play different positions and a lot of different guys can shoot, which poses problems for the other team when they play us.”

On March 3, the team played the winner of Proviso West and Glenbard South, which occurred after LION’s print deadline. If it wins, the team will advance to the finals.

“Each level along the way [to state] is a goal that you can’t accomplish without the one that’s come before,” Sloan said.