Fans support Eagles in the playoffs

The varsity basketball boys played their final game of the season Feb. 28 in the second round of the playoffs against state-ranked Lancaster. The game finished with score of 69-49, with the Eagles falling to the Tigers after a long, hard-fought game.

“That’s a testament to how hard these guys played the entire game,” head coach Scott Albritton said. “They could’ve come into this game knowing they’re playing the number one team in the state, especially after we got down so much in the first quarter and could’ve just laid down from there, but this team fought their tails off the entire game and really fought back and that just shows you how hard these guys worked this year and how hard they played.”

After winning their first playoff game against Longview with a score of 63-62, the boys were matched up with the number one team in the state, the Lancaster Tigers. Despite the unlikely odds, the stands were full of students, parents, and community members supporting the team.

“I’ve never been a part of a team who had as much support from our students, teachers, and community as we did this year,” junior Jordan Gray said. “It was a great feeling knowing that no matter who we played or how we played we had people behind us supporting us. I think all the guys on the team fed off of the energy at the games given off by the crowd and all the feedback we got from everyone around us all season long.”

The game started off slowly, with Lancaster holding a comfortable lead. By the second quarter, the 19 point deficit had minimized to only an eight point lead by Lancaster, and the crowd going crazy with every shot made.

“One of the best parts of the entire season was listening to our crowd cheer for us when we walked on to the court after halftime of the Lancaster game,” sophomore Kale Ridge said. “To think that we could draw that big of a crowd when we were having  to play all the way in Forney against a team some people thought we had no business being on the court with was just a sight to behold, and it really meant a lot to us.”

The end of the game left many players and parents in tears as they walked off the court for the last time this season, and even though the season ended on a loss, the boys got a standing ovation by the crowd of fans as they shook hands with the other team.

“I just want to say thanks to everyone who supported us at anytime during the season,” Gray said. “It meant a lot to all of us, and I’m extremely proud of everyone on the team for our accomplishments and how hard everyone worked.”