(Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad)
The Mason Puncher Basketball Team finished their season after a hard fought battle against Evadale in the Regional Semifinals this past weekend. The Punchers played an outstanding defensive game against the now state bound Rebels enough to gain the respect of the Evadale coach Laurence Williams. Coach Williams had lots of praises to share with me after the game about how hard the boys played and how they never gave up.
At the beginning of the season the thought of playing at the Regional Tournament probably wasn’t in a lot of people's head and never popped into anyone’s head midway through the season either as the team would battle to keep their record at .500. It would have been easy for the Punchers or anyone who watched them to say "Well maybe next year will be better" after a tough stretch of games that saw the boys basketball team lose four games (one in overtime and one in double overtime) by three points or less. This thought of "next year" was never part of the boys plan though when we talked at the beginning of the season about goals for the year. The first goal was to be District Champion (which they accomplished), the second goal was to get to the Regional Tournament (also accomplished) and the final goal was a state championship (two out of three ain’t bad). This is why I am so proud of this year’s basketball team because they didn’t ever give up on themselves or their goals that they set. To have such lofty goals when you only have three returning varsity players and the rest that moved up from the J.V. shows exactly how big these players dream. The year was plagued with injuries and heartbreaking losses that could have deterred many from continuing on with the persistence that these young men did. The most impressive thing is that they did it together, ALL of them. Everyone on the team played a key part to the season whether they played the entire game or none at all. I am as proud of this team as any I have ever coached for what they have gone through to accomplish their goals.
Senior members of the team are: Lucas Haley, Nathan Hoag, Kason Wood, Jansen Rychlik, A.J. Martinez, Trey Schwertner, and Ethan Hudson. Junior members: Andy Duarte, Chance Stockbridge, David Mora, Winston Trip, Austin Trip, Jake Newsom, and Zen Steward. Sophomores were Rio Schmidt and Woody Watson. All District Selections were: A.J. Martinez – Defensive MVP, Chance Stockbridge – Offensive MVP, Woody Watson – Newcomer , Austin Trip – 1st Team, Jake Newsom – 2nd Team, and Trey Schwertner and Ethan Hudson – Honorable Mention. Congratulations to all these young men for their hard work.