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Varsity Boys Basketball
District Final Game
February 26, 2002

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Varsity boys fall to Danville
The varsity boys basketball team fell to Danville 46-44 in the final of the Class 2A District 11 tournament at Mount Pleasant High School, ending their season for the school year.

The contest was an unforgettable classic between the 3rd-ranked and defending state champion Bears, now 23-1 on the year, and the underdog Pioneers, who finished 17-7. Although the Fairfield boys were not considered to be as strong as the 23-2 squad which lost to Danville 52-45 in last year's tournament, they led for most of the game and were thought by many to have been the better team.

Maharishi School took control early as Zach Silverman played intimidating defense and hit a three-point shot to give his team a 12-6 lead. Chris Lynch made a steal and hit a jumper to make it 14-8, and Kevin Craig's three-pointer made it 19-13. A long bounce-pass from Zach to Kevin stretched the margin to 21-14, the largest in the game by either team. With Michael Hauptman scoring 11 of his 15 points in the first half, the Pioneers took a 25-19 lead, to the delight of a huge exuberant crowd from Fairfield.

After the Bears edged ahead 38-35 in the final period, Chris hit a three-point shot to knot the score. Then, a Hauptman steal led to David Dannemann hitting Zach with a long lob pass for a lay-up. Dannemann foiled a Schlarbaum drive to the basket by drawing a charging foul, and Lynch's subsequent free throw made the score 43-39 for Maharishi School with only one minute remaining in the game.

A three-point shot by Danville's Jeff Fye with 30 seconds left was followed by a free throw by Zach, giving him 17 points for the game. That set up the heartbreaking ending for the Pioneers: Chris stole an inbound pass but was trapped by a pair of the Bears defenders. The Pioneers asked for time-out with 14 seconds remaining but, with the team having already used its allowance for the half, it was penalized with a technical foul. Jake Wenig converted both free throws to tie the score at 44, then hit a jump shot as the final buzzer sounded to give Danville the victory.

Nevertheless, the varsity boys made great strides this season. Coach Harley Carter began with the challenge of rebuilding the team after the loss of several fine players due to graduation, such as Danny Duszinski, Ben Stone, Brandon Au, Willy Mulleneaux, and Alex and Benek Lisefski. The schedule was also daunting, with the team opening against Notre Dame (now 18-5) and Marquette (now 23-1); the Pioneers lost, but only by one and four points, respectively. After a 2-4 start, they won 15 of their next 17 games, including a 25-point rout of Western Division co-champion Central Lee. Maharishi School's 9-3 division record included losses only to Central Lee and the other co-champion, WACO.

Now, the Pioneers will bid goodbye with much appreciation to seniors Zach Silverman, David Dannemann, Kevin Craig, Spencer Bright, and Jon Jarvis and look forward to a new start next year. They will welcome back guards Chris Lynch and John Armstrong, center Michael Hauptman, and forwards Will Kern, Noah Loin, Will Carlisle, and Lucas Carter, in addition to promising members of the junior varsity.

by Michael Matzkin
e-mail to Michael Matzkin


Scores by Quarter

Varsity Boys          
  1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total
Maharishi School 14 11 6 13 44
Danville 11 8 10 17 46

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