The JV girls basketball team won the league championship, while all Live Oak's basketball student-athletes competed and showed their determination throughout the season.
Live Oak’s boys and girls basketball teams put together impressive seasons, earning a championship, showing commitment to their teammates, developing skills, and coming together as a group. All the basketball student-athletes represented Live Oak with positive sportsmanship whether their team came out with the winning result or not.
Among the highlights of the season was the JV girls basketball team, which defeated CAIS 12-5 to win the league championship. The team finished 7-1 - their only loss coming in the season opener against CAIS, which highlighted their growth throughout the season.
The varsity girls similarly compiled a successful campaign, going 6-0 during the regular season before losing a tight 21-20 contest to CAIS in the playoff semi-finals. Nonetheless, both teams demonstrated teamwork and consistency that was unmatched around the league.
“The JV girls started slower than varsity, but worked tirelessly to become a team,” said Coach Sydney, who coached both the JV and varsity girls squads. “Whether it was an overtime win against Burke’s or a basket with two seconds left in the game, the JV girls showed incredible growth throughout the season. As an entire sixth grade team they battled mostly seventh grade teams every single week. From the beginning of the season to the championship game the girls showed extraordinary improvement by shooting more, boxing out, and working together as a team.”
Coach Sydney added, “The varsity girls also showed tremendous growth. The four eighth grade girls immediately took leadership roles and you could easily see how long they have been playing together. With support from the seventh grade girls they went on to win every single game by double digits. They attacked the ball as soon as the whistle blew and it was a privilege to coach them. However, the hardest part of basketball is losing and the varsity girls lost the semifinal game by only one point. They were down by over ten points at half and absolutely took control in the second half. They persevered and demonstrated their resilience despite the deficit. Sadly, the season ended on a late foul call in the last five seconds; it was a devastating loss to a perfect season. The eighth grade girls left their mark on Live Oak basketball and they will always be champions to me!”
On the boys side, the two varsity teams competed game in and game out. While their records did not reflect the spirit they brought to practices and games throughout the season, both teams were focused on developing a foundation that will help them build in the coming years. The varsity boys green team earned its lone victory of the season with a 41-22 win over Kittredge, ending 1-5 overall.
“Although they were comprised of only seventh graders playing mainly all eighth grade teams, they competed every game and had chances to win half of them,” said Coach Marcus. “They made progress in keeping a growth mindset by channeling emotions in a healthy way during games and not letting negative outcomes destroy their motivation.”
Meanwhile, Live Oak’s varsity boys white team tallied a season-high 32 points against a strong CDS squad in their season finale. Despite finishing 0-5, the varsity white came into each game ready to play their hardest.
“We were the rawest team on varsity in terms of having the most players with little or no experience coming into the season,” added Coach Marcus. “We had a lot of newcomers and high interest players, and they played hard every game. The games were challenging, especially when you never get the desired external outcome. But they improved individually throughout the season. Eighth grade was able to focus on their individual skills and they definitely progressed as players.”
Rounding out the basketball performances as the JV boys team, which also demonstrated unwavering commitment to learning and putting forth their best effort. The team almost came away with a win against Friends late in the season in a 29-22 contest. Even though their record ended up at 0-6, the JV boys were able to end the season more skilled and with a greater sense of determination than when they started.
“The team's hunger and perseverance were admirable,” said Coach Wyatt. “The whole team was itching to get into the game. At any given moment I knew I had a team full of players that wouldn't give up and try their best until the final buzzer. It's hard to pinpoint a specific area of growth that exceeded the rest because everyone was growing all in all sorts of ways. The boys learned how to emotionally get themselves into the game. In the beginning of the season their minds weren't really ‘locked in’, but at the end of the season you could see the whole team hyping each other up, suggesting ideas during team huddles, and rallying behind a teammate who had been fouled, injured or frustrated. These are hopefully strengths that will further blossom and create opportunities for the boys later on in their sporting careers.
Coach Wyatt went on to say, “We played many games against teams that had much larger, older, and athletic players. In most of these games we would start off pretty far behind, and then we would keep them to zero points in the final quarter, or score eight unanswered points. I'm looking forward to seeing how this team performs next year. Something tells me they are going to be a problem for the league next year.”