Game Summaries & Headlines.
By Dennis Rodman Bujan Jr ‘19
After a bitter end to a great 2017-2018 season, I had the distinct pleasure to sit down with Coach Joe Lods and talk about what happened during the season and the CHSAA “AA” playoffs. After the crushing 72-64 defeat in the semi-finals at St. John’s University, the team has been a bit down for the past few days as their disappointing loss still lingers.
But, they can’t forget that some exciting basketball occurred throughout the year. And that should make the Cardinals quite proud after another successful season.
Here are some of the things Coach Lods and I went over:
Excluding playoffs did the season go as predicted? How do you feel you and the team performed this season?
It’s hard to say, teenagers are so unpredictable. I thought we had a good team and we won a lot of games but, things never really go as planned. I felt that our season went well, but there are other factors that play into the game; it’s not just the amount of wins you have but a Hayesman does not make excuses! We didn’t get it done this year, hopefully next year it will happen.
Who do you remember being your toughest opponent this year?
Hudson Catholic, I thought Hudson Catholic was the most talented team that we played. They were a formidable opponent and a tough opponent all around. That was definitely the toughest team I saw up close and personal.
How did the last few practices with the team go leading up to playoffs?
The practices were fine, they went well, but I think the snow days really screwed us up and through off our schedule a little bit but I guess you can say the same for Christ the King. So I don’t think that’s what it was. We came out a little flat for some reason, I don’t know why. Just, shots didn’t fall for us.
What is it like when you lose the Archdiocesan tournament, and realizing that you still have a chance at the city championship?
Well I have won the Archdiocesan tournament twice before so I didn’t put a lot of pressure on myself for that one. I was more concerned with the city championship. So when we lost the Archdiocesan it didn’t bother me that much, I wanted the city championship more which was, within our reach but we let it slipped away.
In the game against Christ the King, during the semi-finals for the city championship, you guys were down by 19, but fought back within four threatening a comeback. In situations like that, when you’re down, how do you motivate your team?
I don’t really have ways of motivating them; I tell them…we have to win this game. I don’t have some fancy speech like in the movies, you know. We are prepared. Our guys, they’re basketball players, they know what’s on the line, they know what’s important. I think if you have to come up with some kind of fancy speech to motivate your team… you’re in trouble.
Is there anything you wish you could’ve done differently?
No not really, we have such a nice group of guys, the only thing I wish I get one more year with those guys, they’re such good guys so easy to coach, if anything I wish I had more time with them.
I’m sure they wish they had more time with you too. But how do you feel losing so many great players such as Tyrese Williams ‘18, Jontai Williams ‘18, Terry Dawkins ‘18, Terrence Reeves ‘18, and Michael Richardson ‘18?
It’s really a bitter-sweet experience because I always enjoy watching my guys play in college and I look forward to watching these guys play in college. But selfishly I hate to lose them because they’ve won so many games for me and the experiences we have had together. But what can I say, it’s part of it, part of this gig is graduation and you learn to accept it.
Are you ready for next year?
Not today I’m not! (Laughter)