Finish with a regional plaque
The 8th Grade Boys finished the season with a record of 22-3. Three major accomplishments for them so far have been winning the class 3A regionals, the Staunton Tournament, and taking first place in conference play. During the Staunton Tournament, three Gillespie Indians went home with awards. Josh Balzraine earned the tournaments free throw award. Each school nominated a player to shoot 25 free throws at halftime of their first game.
Balzraine came out making 21 out of 25 free throws while the next closest contestant only made 19. Additionally, Kirklund Davis and Evan Price were nominated to the all-tournament team based off of their outstanding performance throughout the tournament. Price was also honored all tournament MVP showing great leadership, sportsmanship, and raw talent. Since then, the success has continued as the Indians have been undefeated since and were ranked #1 in their regional.
“At the very beginning of the year, I told the boys that winning games isn’t the most important thing for them,” Coach Edgerton told us, “I told them that I was here to help them build off of their fundamental basketball skills.” According to him, he just wanted to see them become better teammates and develop a sense of sportsmanship and he was very pleased to see each player grow both as a basketball player and as a teammate this year.
Throughout the season, he said he watched the players become more confident in themselves. The basic fundamental skills that they had learned prior to this season had improved greatly. They are now capable of running multiple offenses, reading different defenses, and adjusting to them accordingly.
“Additionally, I watched them become better teammates,” Edgerton said, “As the season progressed, there was much more interaction and collaboration between the players.” This was especially meaningful with the addition of a new teammate, Gary Cadmus, who did not play for the Indians as a 7th grader. They began to cheer one another on much more than they had at the beginning.
As Edgerton looks back on the year, he would have liked to win the two games he lost in regular season, but he is proud that each one of his players were able to learn more about the game of basketball. “I’m proud that each one of my players has become a better teammate and that each one of them now exudes a more positive attitude,” Edgerton closed, “But mostly, I’m proud that in the future, each one of my players holds the potential to successfully go on and compete at the high school level.”
The Indians won their regional after winning three games at Divernon Middle School over East Alton (36-7), Staunton (37-28), and finally Litchfield in regional championship (40-29). The boys then went to Vandalia to compete in sectionals against Blue Mound Meridian and fell by just one point in the last minute with a final score of 33-34.
Wikipedia: winning definition: the act of one that wins. →