SATCH Mavericks: NCHBC Top 10 Finish
After being amazed by the firepower of the tournament champion HCYA Warriors (Houston, TX), awed by the play of McDonald's All American Moriah Jefferson and her 6 time girls varsity national champion THESA Riders (Fort Worth, TX), and excited by the competitiveness of the tournament runner up Oklahoma City Storm's 15 year old leader Allonzo Trier, I feel the need to explain why my first entry is about the SATCH Mavericks (Conroe, TX), who finished the tournament with three wins and two losses after falling to two phenomenal teams deep in the final rounds.
I think my thoughts go to this impressive group of players and coaches because I see them as a more polished and "grown up," both physically and mentally, version of my team, the Augusta Eagles. The Mavericks are a relatively small group, like the Eagles, and they have very impressive guard play, and their players are somewhat interchangeable. The team went to Missouri with high expectations, having spent most of the season ranked in hslive365.com's top five nationally.
And SATCH performed admirably. The players no doubt would have liked to have defeated the Eastside Golden Eagles (IN) and the St John's Warriors (MI) in the Elite 8 and the 5th place rounds, but Isaiah Brooks' (Eastside) buzzer beater and a three point play by five time All American Eric Hamilton (St John's) stood in the Mavericks' way.
And the heartbreak of coming up short on the scoreboard that the SATCH players felt after preparing so hard, competing so admirably, and playing so inspired is the reason that my thoughts first turn to this highly skilled group from Conroe, Texas. Competitive basketball, especially the kind that my players and I experienced and witnessed in Missouri, teaches us to take risks with the hope wild success. When the last second shot bounces the "right" way, the thrill is enormous, and when it doesn't the pain seems so final. But the Mavericks coaches and players, like my Eagles, who also fell to a fine Eastside Golden Eagles squad, have certainly not toiled in vain.
As you will see in the highlights from SATCH's final games, the skill, teamwork, athleticism, and competitiveness of these players are the results of a great deal of hard and smart work. The Mavericks finished tied for the 7th spot in the tournament, which is commendable. Like most, if not all, of the competitors in Springfield, Missouri, the SATCH Mavericks sure seemed to enjoy themselves. And who wouldn't, after playing so well?