Originally Publishes in the Elizabethtown Merchandiser. By Leah Sintic
A second round PIAA tournament loss, 77-59, to Nativity BVM last Tuesday, March 10, brought the Chargers’ historic 2019-2020 season to close.
The Mount Calvary club entered the contest riding a 22-game win streak, ready to take on Nativity, the champions of District XI, at the second-round showdown held at the Geigle Complex in Reading.
Nativity gained the upper hand early with a 21-12 first quarter, but the Chargers are known for their late game resurgence and constantly battled to reduce the deficit. MC put together a stronger second period (17-15), that brought them within six points less than two minutes before the midway break.
Despite their regrouping, Nativity found ways to answer, including a half-court buzzer beater that gave them an extra boost heading into the half as well as a 38-27 advantage.
Aidan Masters led the Charger offense, accruing 18 points, supported by double-digit contributions from Jack Hilsher and Hunter Stewart with 10 each.
“The final game was tough because we didn’t play our absolute best game and still had an opportunity to keep it close against a really good team,” commented head coach Kory Pruner.
Though their run has come to an end, reflecting back on the accomplishments of the season creates quite the list of accolades, including a CCAC conference title, a first ever District III basketball championship, and the team’s first ever PIAA state tournament victory, a 63-57 win over North Penn Liberty in round one.
“I am proud of how we built and maintained a high level of character while at the same time keeping our expectations high throughout the season,” Pruner stated.
The season’s stats and 26-3 overall record are impressive by any standard, but for this year’s graduating seniors, the meaningfulness of the year was particularly poignant.
“It’s been great getting to see how our team matured,” expressed senior captain Harrison Crick. “We always strived to work hard and never give up. As a senior it’s been great to see the younger guys grow spiritually and physically both as teammates and basketball players.”
Having closed the books on the season, lifelong lessons have been learned and growth beyond the basketball court has certainly been a result that will continue to produce great things in these student athletes.
“The defining characteristic of the season was accountability. They were accountable to each other for their attitude, effort, execution and testimony during games and practices, pushing each other to be better and building each other up when they fell,” summarized Pruner. “We wanted to focus on God, team and others. With that outward focus, a strong inward focused bond was built.”