For Mountain Vista, a 64-60 loss against Dakota Ridge High School in the the second round of the playoffs marks the end of the basketball season.
“We definitely could have come out with more energy and effort,” sophomore Connor Staib, a member of the team, said. “We were down early and that didn’t really help us. It is probably the reason that we lost.”
In the first quarter, the teams remained close, Vista scoring 14 points to Dakota Ridge’s 13. As the game continued, Dakota Ridge continued to build momentum, leaving the score at 36-27 Dakota Ridge by halftime.
In the third quarter, Dakota Ridge continued to build a lead while the Golden Eagles struggled to close the gap with their opponent.
“I felt like we did good coming back in the game and really persevering even though we were down by 18 points at one point,” Staib said. “We came back and made it a really good game at the end.”
With the game drawing to a close, both teams remained neck and neck, Vista winning one moment and Dakota Ridge the next. In the last minute of the game, Vista committed some unlucky fouls, giving Dakota Ridge the opportunity to put more points on the board, which they did. Those final points ended the game with Dakota Ridge in the lead, pulling them into the third round of the playoffs and ending the Golden Eagle’s season.
“I feel like we definitely could have won the game but I feel like overall as a season we all got better and just grew as a team,” Staib said.
Over the course of season, Vista experienced some changes for the better that contributed to their playoff run.
“I think we improved on giving energy because earlier in the season we didn’t really play together much and didn’t know each other,” Staib said. “We just gave a bunch of effort down the stretch in the season and we really played together well.”
Seniors of the team played a large role in guiding their younger teammates to success throughout the season.
“I enjoyed the seniors the most, having a lot of fun with them the whole season,” Staib said. “We really came together, made a lot of new friendships during the season.”
Throughout the season, each player had the chance to make strong memories as individuals and with their basketball teammates.
“For me personally, it was the ThunderRidge game because I made a half-court shot,” Joey Yamane, a senior member of the team, said. “Even though we lost that was just a cool moment for me to make that [basket] and hear the crowd like that.”
As an upperclassmen, acting as a mentor to underclassmen is an important role on the team. Over the course of the season, Freshman, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors all contributed to the achievements of the team, each one of them an important part in the larger picture.
“You know as a senior we had a lot of younger kids and I think my favorite part overall was seeing them all develop as players and as people and come together as a team,” Josh Freitag, another Senior, said. “At the beginning of the season we were a decent team but we weren’t something to be considered a state contender, somebody who could make a run, then over the year we really came together as a team personally and athletically.”
It is clear that the team played the season to its fullest, overcoming the ups and downs, maturing as a team, and having fun.
“It was pretty crazy, you really don’t understand how quickly things go by until they are done,” Trey Boeyink, Senior, said. “It was a fun game and it was a fun way to go out with my teammates.”