Patriots Basketball Reaches States

Ben Yung, Staff Reporter

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The Patriots basketball team advances to states following their 58-45 win against George Marshall on Tuesday. Any goals set by coach Maynard at the beginning of the season have been met and surpassed as the team carries on to states.

“So far the team has reached its goal for the season, by being able to play in the state tournament this year. The team feels like we’ve done great so far but now we’re all hungry for a state championship for ATOWN,” Senior Justice Taylor said.

At states the competition will only increase and the stakes will be raised, but in the end, whatever comes of the team, it has overall been a very successful season for a team that was forced to change its philosophy and play style from last year.

“I think one of biggest challenges is adjusting to the style of play this year compared to last year and getting everyone to buy into the system and play as a team,” Senior guard Myles Adams-Yates said, “We have a younger and more athletic team so we tried to get out and run fast breaks this year”.

Typically in a younger team, the lack of experience can lead to problems down the road. Young players are more susceptible to errors and poor decisions along with struggling to adapt to the style of play that the older players spend years conforming to, but according to upperclassmen, this was not the case with this batch of underclassmen.

“Having a younger team hasn’t effected the season because the younger guys flow really well with the play style of the older kids,” Senior Shaun Zeller said.

Even with having a younger team, Albemarle will lose six seniors in next year’s team. For the seniors leaving it is certainly a bittersweet exit, but they find solace in the bond they have formed with the team and with the school over the years.

“It’s heartbreaking to know that this is my last year playing as an Albemarle Patriot, but it feels good to end it where it all began, with the same family I started with,” Zeller said.

“It feels great ending it at AHS, and being able to do it with my friends that I have grown up with all my life,” Taylor added.

Whenever a team loses as many as six key players, there will a sharp learning curve for next year’s year. Juniors such as Austin Katstra have been already looking ahead towards that challenge for next season.

“It’ll be hard to lose six seniors, especially with how much contribution each of the seniors provide, but having had four sophomores on the team this year will have helped a lot since they will have learned the system and it’s given us more time to get to know how eachother plays,” Katstra said.

The Patriots will need to regroup and rebuild when next season rolls around, but as of now the players are focused on one thing; making a deep run in states.