Every sport has post season play and every team looks forward to the climax of their season during this time.
This past week Elsberry High School was host to Class 2 District 5 basketball games and going into the tournament, both EHS boys and girls teams were the third seed in their respective brackets.
Other teams vying for the district title were Clopton, Louisiana, Mark Twain, New Haven, Paris, Silex and Van-Far.
The Elsberry boys team was able to win their way to the district championship, while the Lady Indians fell in semi-final action.
The Elsberry Indians drew their neighbor rival Clopton for the first game and took a 53-36 victory.
Going into the semifinal round their next opponent was the Shamrocks from New Haven. Elsberry again got the win 43-38 sending them to the district championship game on Friday night; their opponent would be Van-Far.
From the beginning one could tell it just wasn’t going to be Elsberry’s night as baskets came few and far between as they went down in defeat 40-22.
Against Clopton the Indians jumped out to a quick lead and never looked back.
After one quarter Elsberry led 16-9 and by halftime still held a five point lead. In the final two quarter the Indians outscored the Hawks, 29-18, taking the first round win.
Elsberry finished with four players in double figures; Trevor Anthony led the charge with 13 points, while Garik Hill, Derrick Taylor and Jake Rimel, all finished with 10 each.
The Indians relied on slow and steady playing against New Haven.
After the first quarter Elsberry trailed by one point, but by halftime held a 19-16 lead. The Indians outscored their opponent in the final two quarters to take the victory. Taylor led Elsberry in points with 15.
Friday night would see the end of the basketball season for the Elsberry Indians.
From the beginning of the games jump ball, Elsberry was not on their game in their quest for their third straight district win.
The boys could only muster up two points on the scoreboard in the first quarter. The second quarter wasn’t much better, as they scored four points giving them only six points at the halfway mark to 17 total by their opponent.
Hoping they could come out with a clean slate in the second half the Indians took the floor ready to play for the title, but once again they could only score four points in the third quarter giving Van-Far a commanding 27-10 lead going into the final eight minutes of the game.
Elsberry started playing their style basketball in the fourth quarter holding Van-Far to just one field goal, but the deficit was already too large to come back from, going down 40-22.
Sometimes when seasons end for teams it is very disheartening, but Coach Twellman had nothing but praise for his team.
“I am very proud of these young men. It has been a hard fought season and with all the ups and downs we went through it showed real determination on these young men’s part. They fought for every ounce they got this year and really grew as a team,” Twellman said.
He continued by saying, “I know the season did not end how we envisioned it from the start of the season but many great things were accomplished. I am going to miss all of the seniors and after a nice break can’t wait to get back to work with those guys returning.”
The Lady Indians took on the New Haven Shamrocks in the first round taking a 47-34 win.
In the semi-final round Elsberry had their work cut out for them against the Paris Coyotes. Despite overtime, the Lady Indians fell 54-50 to end their season.
Elsberry was ready to play in their first game of districts as they came out strong on offense and defense.
In the first quarter the Lady Indians dominated the score board and held the Shamrocks to just one basket, leading 11-3 at the end of the quarter.
The same held true for the second quarter as Elsberry took a commanding 25-6 lead at halftime. In the second half all team members got to see playing time as they cruised to a 47-34 victory.
Senior Tess Weakly led the offense with 19 points.
Next up for Elsberry in the semi-final game was the Paris Coyotes with a season record of 17-3.
In the first quarter both teams came out running and gunning to try and find their stride for the game. Paris seemed to find it a little quicker as their 6’5” center was able to score three quick inside baskets.
Elsberry found themselves trailing 11-7 at the end of the first. The second quarter was evenly matched for the most part, but the Lady Indians trailed 24-18 at the halfway point.
A short rest was all Elsberry needed, they came out on fire and outscored Paris to tie the game at 30 all after the third quarter.
The fourth quarter was just as exciting for players and fans alike with the lead changing back and forth.
When the final buzzer sounded for regulation the scoreboard showed 47 all, sending the game into a four minute overtime.
In overtime the Lady Indians could only put the ball through the basket one time to three by the Coyotes ending their season by a score of 54-50.
Despite the loss the Lady Indians can be proud of the season they played.
Coach Kari Koch-Dowell had this to say about her team’s performance in the tournament and all season long, “Even though the season didn’t end the way we hoped for it too I couldn’t be more proud of this team. They fought all season long and accomplished many of their goals during the season. It’s a cliché to say but we went out on a high note taking the number three team in 2A to overtime and falling by four. This team will be hard to replace but the future is bright.”