By Noah Fernandes ’20
The 2018-2019 basketball season was one of many ups and downs, one of heartbreak and tough losses, but also came with its share of wins and glorious moments. It was a successful season highlighted by huge wins over their rivals, with a bittersweet ending as the Bells lost to Moreau Catholic in the 1st round of the NorCal Playoffs.
The Bells were able to finish 2nd in CCS thanks to all around contributions. Kiran Kruse ’19 was named to the All-Metro 3rd team, while Quinn Denker ’20 was an honorable mention. The team finished with a strong 20-8 record, some of those losses coming from notable absences due to injury and other activities.
In review of the season, the coaches and players were proud of their efforts, yet they know they have far more to accomplish in the seasons to come.
“The team played very well,” said Coach Patrick Schneider, “exceeding the expectations held for us by media predictions. That said, we came close to our own expectations but fell short of our goals to win league and CCS.”
Ian Elam ’20 added on, “we did not meet [the] expectations that we set before the year. Before the year, we all expected that we would be the WCAL and CCS champions. We had many opportunities to put ourselves in those situations but unfortunately, we did not take advantage of them.”
The team’s shortcomings will not hold them back from achieving their goals next year, and the bar has already been set high.
“For next year, our hopes are the same. We want to win WCAL and CCS and hopefully be as successful as possible in NorCals,” Ian said.
It can be hard for a team to keep their composure and focus when faced with adversity. The Bells had to face the loss of several of their most important seniors. However, there were many moments that kept the team composed and on track.
“Our brotherhood and dedication lead to the success of our team. Everyone was ready and willing to play and we all had a ‘next man up’ sort of mindset. We had a very strong connection and wanted the team to succeed rather than focus on personal accolades,” Ian said.
Coach Schneider also commented on this, “Our goal every day, every year is to be better the next day than we were the day before. That mindset and everyone’s commitment to make that goal true is what keeps us motivated and moving forward. I think the team was also motivated to show what we could be if we were healthy, especially after the hits we took with illnesses and injuries.”
As he looked back on the season, Coach Schneider said some of the best moments of the season came against notable foes. “Beating Riordan in overtime to advance to the school’s 4th straight CCS title game was a big moment for the team, along with sweeping the Lancers and beating Mitty on Senior Night.”
He also adds that “a different moment captured the special character of the team: Kiran Kruse doubling back from the handshake game after our loss at Riordan to help lift an injured Cole Troedson off the court.”
The Bells, with so much depth and talent, hope to build on this year’s success next year and compete for another CCS title and NorCal entry.
Coach Schneider ends, “The coaching staff just finished meetings with each returning player. Every single player said their goals were to win league, win CCS Open Division, and advance as far as we can in the state tournament”.