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It was a character-building season for EDSS boys’ basketball squads

Ryan Bauman goes for the shot in the EDSS senior boys’ final basketball game of the season. [Whitney Neilson / The Observer]

The Elmira District Secondary School boys’ basketball teams may not have had a season of glory, but if you didn’t look at the scoreboard you might not know it. Both junior and senior teams went without a single win this year, as they finished up their last games Tuesday at home.

Ryan Bauman goes for the shot in the EDSS senior boys’ final basketball game of the season.[Whitney Neilson / The Observer]
Ryan Bauman goes for the shot in the EDSS senior boys’ final basketball game of the season. [Whitney Neilson / The Observer]
Neither team showed signs of frustration at their imminent loss. Rather, they were cheering and enthusiastic the whole way through.

Coach Brian Carter noted their perseverance despite facing tough city teams.

“They just don’t have a lot of basketball experience and they’re playing against a lot of teams with a whole bunch of basketball experience, so it makes it tough to compete,” Carter said. “But the one thing that I’m proud of them for is they have come out and they have competed and they do work hard every game.”

Both teams had 12 losses and no wins. It appears their closest competition was Jacob Hespeler Secondary School, as the junior team only lost by seven points and the senior team by 14.

“The scoreboard is usually not very flattering but their attitude and their desire to keep coming back: we didn’t have a single kid quit and it was a tough year as far as wins and losses,” Carter said. “But not one kid quit. They all came out from the first to the last practice last night. They all showed up.”

It’s clear from just watching their home games how much they improved from the first game in December to this week. The junior team fell 71-9 to Forest Heights Collegiate Institute at their first game on December 2, while the seniors’ worst game was versus Grand River Collegiate Institute 66-16 on January 6.

“[The juniors] did a little bit better last year. They were a little more competitive last year than they are this year,” Carter said.

Carter said the junior team was all rookies, except for two guys back from last year’s team. This didn’t help the team any because the new players didn’t even have guys to learn off of. Instead they all learned off of each other.

“The senior team is a tougher thing because it’s the first time there was a senior team in three years,” Carter said. “Even the guys who had played basketball when they were juniors hadn’t played any basketball at all for two or three years.”

The boys basketball teams typically struggle at EDSS, partially because athletes have to choose between basketball and hockey since the seasons intersect.

He added even though there were a few returning guys to the senior squad, they weren’t really returning because it had been so long since they played on a team. He expects about half of the team to be back next year.

“They’re still enthusiastic and they don’t see it but they have gotten a lot better from the beginning of the year,” Carter said. “They’re starting from such a disadvantage as far as their competition they’re playing against that they don’t notice how much they’ve gotten better, but they have improved.”

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