Rebel Basketball team sweeps first two rounds of districts, will play in final on Friday
Show your Rebel Pride
The fan theme for the game is a "Blue Out," so put on your best blue Priory gear for the trip to Parkway West.
In addition, Friday is a dress down day for students, faculty and staff who don their finest blue Priory spirit wear.
The Campus Store will be open until 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday this week, with a 10% discount on apparel.
For the first time in recent memory, the Rebel basketball team will play for a district championship at 7 p.m. tomorrow night (3/6) against Westminster at Parkway West. This will be the third meeting between the Rebels and the Wildcats, the most recent being just a week ago in the Metro League title game that Westminster won 44-42.
"We put together a great game plan for Friday, and it was a back-and-forth game," Coach Bobby McCormack says of last week's match up. "We'll be looking at the film and seeing what worked. We have to make plays at both ends of the court and avoid turnovers — they're an athletic team, and we can't make it easy on them."
The first two rounds of district play began against rival MICDS on Monday night, when, after a 27-27 tie at the end of the 2nd quarter, the Rebels had a break out second half and won 68-44. It was the third win for the Rebels over the Rams this season. The semifinal match on Tuesday night was against Parkway West, a team that beat Priory by 6 points earlier in the season. That game stayed tight, with a 18-16 Parkway West lead at the half turning into a 34-34 tie with 20 seconds left. A lay up by senior Nate VonderHaar and a steal by junior Jack Kurz in the final three seconds sealed the deal, and the Rebels left with a 36-34 victory.
"A big thing this team has learned from their losses is how to play better defense," Coach McCormack says. "That's how we can score in the 30s and still win games. We play to our strengths. Some people call that ugly basketball, but the length on our front line makes it difficult for other teams to score."
Another edge for the team this season has been the 4 seniors — Cole Esparrago, Matt Kinnison, Stephen Poth and Nate VonderHaar. "They've shown so much leadership," Coach McCormack says. "The whole season is really a tribute to them, and how mature and humble they are."
The team's 20-5 record has led to a bigger crowd at games, particularly in the league championship and district play. Coach McCormack says being able to provide that type of excitment to the Priory community has added a whole new level of fun for the team. "The support has been overwhelming," he says. "It's really an integral part of our success. The players really appreciate the attendance, and it makes a big difference."
Watch the game-winning basket from Tuesday's game: