|Varsity boys fall to Danville
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
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
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