March 01, 2023

Boys Basketball Season Recap

by Coach Cody Rincker

The 2022-23 Basketball Season was a very successful year for the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs competed against an extremely tough schedule, ranked as the number 1 strength of schedule by many. This season saw an overall young team grow and develop and play some of their best basketball down the stretch of the season. The 22-23 Bulldogs began the season defeating a very good Robinson Maroon team and rival Effingham High school in the Turkey Tourney finishing 4th and with a record of 2-2. They went through some growing pains over the next month, dropping their first conference regular season game in 5 years, but bounced back in the Christmas Classic defeating large schools in Lutheran North St. Louis and Oak Lawn. Even though they fell to T-town and Pleasant Plains in their final two contests, this marked the first time a Bulldogs team had finished in the top 4 of the extremely competitive Effingham/Ttown Christmas Classic.

As the team moved into January, they continued to have an up-and-down year but were highlighted by beating a very good Breese Mater Dei team at Breese Mater Dei for the first time in over 10 years. The annual National Trail Conference Tournament saw the Bulldogs avenge the early loss to North Clay by defeating them in the semi-final round, setting up a match-up with the top 5 state-ranked Altamont Indians, the host school. The Bulldogs fell short in the championship and finished second in the tournament.

In February, the Bulldogs continued to improve and compete against some very tough competition. They finished the year 2-3 in February, defeating South Central and top 15 state-ranked Casey-Westfield. They lost a close ball game to top 10 2A state-ranked town on the road, top 15 3A state-ranked Triad, and again top 5 1A state-ranked Altamont at Altamont completing the regular season 2nd in the regular season conference and with a record of 19-12.

Regionals began the day after senior night with a win over Sandoval, followed by another semi-final win over North Clay, and finished with another Regional Championship versus another top 10 state-ranked Christ our Rock Lutheran in the Farina South Central Regional.

The Bulldogs’ season came to an end in the sectional semi-final versus eventually the 3rd place team in state Tuscola. The young team finished 22-13, they said goodbye and best wishes to seniors Griffin Sehy, Michael Martelli, and Jonathan Willenborg. These seniors did a great job leading the group of young players and setting an excellent example for these players to follow in the future. Overall, the season was very successful, especially considering that this year’s Bulldogs played against one 3A regional champion, three 2A regional champs, two 1A regional champs, and the 3rd place team in 2A state (Ttown) and the 3rd place team in 1A state. Bulldog Nation should be very proud of how this team represented themselves and the school and should be excited for the future as the underclassmen become upperclassmen next season.

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