MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. --
The Quantico Middle/High School Warriors Boys’ Varsity Basketball Team had a tough time getting things going when they went against the Tandem Friends School Badgers during a home game Jan. 26.
The Badgers taught the Warriors the definition of effort throughout most of the game. The Warriors didn’t get things going until the second half. That was when the nerves of the Badgers began to rattle.
At the start of the game, the Warriors gained a quick, yet short-lived lead. The Badgers quickly took full control of the entire quarter and went on a 15-0 run. For five minutes, the Badgers put up a powerful defensive hold that the Warriors had no answer for. Steals and rebounds became second nature for the Badgers.
On offense, the Warriors weren’t having much luck scoring points as they struggled to get past half court without turning over the ball. By the end of the first quarter, the Badgers had a commanding lead over the Warriors, 24-9.
“The Warriors are lacking in the defense department right now,” said Darien, student, who was the score keeper for the game. “If they plan on winning this game, they have to make a stand now or just be content with another loss in the record book.”
The Warriors started better in the second quarter, converting steals into points on the board. Unfortunately for them, the Badgers had been doing that the entire half and didn’t seem to have any intention of stopping.
Key plays by Warrior players, Jaylen and Neiko, kept the team’s spirit up and with that, they were doing their best to not fall too far behind. At halftime the Badgers kept their solid lead, 38-24.
“The only difference between us and them is effort,” said Eddie Cottrell, head coach for the Warriors. “If we don’t give the effort then we do badly, but when we put that extra amount of effort into the game we do great. We can win this game, but it is solely up to you.”
With plenty of ground to recover, the Warriors were putting everything they had into the second half. The Warriors’ defense was at an all-time high and the fans were right behind them, cheering and showing their support.
The Badgers, that once seemed unstoppable, were being outshined by the Warriors’ performances on both sides of the ball. Yet with only a couple of minutes of play left, the Warriors simply did not have enough time and the Badgers kept the Warriors’ underdog story from having a happy ending. In the end, the Badgers won the game, 66-56.
“The finally got to the point where they showed that they really wanted to win,” Cottrell said. “It just happened to be a little late in the game. From the beginning of the game until the clock hits zero, they have to believe in themselves. It’s like I told them during halftime, effort makes all the difference. So, even though they played well, they can definitely do better next time.”