The Boys’ Basketball team is in the midst of a rebuilding season, continuing to develop under third-year coach Tyler Biwan. With a 10-13 record this season, the team continues to work to hit their goals as post-season play nears. The team is 2-5 in the IMAC conference, which has proven to be a tough conference this year with Providence, Breck, and Minnehaha being among the top of the class 2A rankings. Overall, Blake has had a much harder schedule this season compared to those of the past, with examples such as Waconia and Orono being added this season. These changes show the growth overall growth of Blake Basketball throughout the years. Also, the team was invited to the Granite City Classic Invitational where they went 1-1 defeating Sauk Rapids-Rice and losing to Rocori. Senior captain Alex Martha ‘19 continues this point explaining, “The hard schedule is the toughest obstacle for us. We have played a lot of hard teams, so we only have won 8 games, but we took on the challenge and beat a lot of good teams.” Martha alludes to Blakes victories against Pine City and Watertown-Mayer which are teams with great programs with many more players.
Martha also explains the many improvements the team has seen this season. With a young team, they remain hopeful for the future and continue to work hard every day to get better. With sophomores, Gabe Ganz ‘21, Robert Grace III ‘21, and Jasper Liu ‘21 all averaging at least 13 points this season. Also, Theo Liu ’22 has been a shining light for the team averaging 7.3 points per game this season.
Martha has his doubts detailing, “It will be hard for them because the team will be so short. They will not have a big guy, so they better find one before next season.” Martha brings out a good point explaining that senior Eli Kilpatrick ‘19 along with Alex himself are both graduating. The team will need to find more big men in the following season as they hope to improve in the future. With the program changing from a three-team system (C squad, Junior Varsity, and Varsity) to only two teams (B squad and Varsity) it is clear that fewer people are playing the sport. Also, many players have quit the team as they cannot seem to find the competition and playing time necessary without a three-team system.
Yet the team remains hopeful for next season, trusting their ability to adapt. As Sam Deignan ‘20 explains “Next year weíre losing two of our senior leaders and there will definitely be an adjusting period without them but weíll find other ways to succeed and improve.” Hopefully, as next year draws ever closer Blake Boys Basketball can continue to develop season after season, in order to become more established of a program.
Blake will play their first section game on March 7. Their opponent and venue has not been determined. Information will roughly come a week before their game. To find more information visit the following link https://www.mshsl.org/mshsl/activitypage.asp?actnum=402.