Evan Huggins

Sports Editor

3 January, 2022

     They have one goal for the season, victory. The reigning county champs have plans for another county championship and beyond.Lead by Coach Albert, the Atholton basketball team is pushing themselves to the limit. l“I think the expectation is to hang a banner. I think that’s something that started years ago with the group that I had. That was one thing they always talked about. Since they did it, we now have done it consecutively since 2018 19 and then 21 and 22,”  said Coach Albert. This team is the complete opposite of last years. This year it’s almost all juniors who are just getting their first varsity experiences. One of few returning Seniors from last year, Yin Deleon, believes the expectations for the team doesn’t change one bit. “To win regionals and go far in the state playoffs although we don’t have the same diversity as we did last year we are still a good and organized team and we have one of the best coaches in the county so that obviously helps,” said Yin.

     The Atholton basketball team started off shaky at 1-2. They had a first tough game to Parkville losing 81-64. They then bounced back in a close win against Centennial winning 54-52. They then played one of the best teams in the county Wilde Lake and lost 68-49.  Atholton had a bounce back game in their home opener against rival school River Hill. Amir Shaheed led the team with 21 points and yin led the defense with 10 blocks. 

The Atholton Basketball team huddled together during the game. Photo Courtesy: Kush Kommula//@atholtonsports

     The Atholton basketball team is known for regularly being county champions but even after losing 10 seniors last year the team is keeping its cool in the upcoming season. “We don’t really feel any pressure because we can only do as much as we can do. There’s a high bar from last year but there’s not much pressure because everybody knows all they can do is try their hardest and will go as far as we can,” said Yin.

     Last year’s team finished with a great record at 16-4 finishing second in the county. After such a good season there still is some bad taste in returning player Yin’s mouth regarding last year’s loss in the state semi final. “It makes me hungry, it makes me more ambitious because we were one game away from the state championship. I was able to get a little taste of everything and now we can go back and finish what we started”.

     The roster is very young this year, with two returning players, 7 juniors, and one transfer. “We just need some time to figure out team chemistry,” Coach Albert said. “This is in addition to the challenges associated with an inexperienced team,” Coach Albert noted. “I think it’s gonna be competitive this year with a lot of teams returning players.” Coach also noted how Wilde Lake, Long Reach, River Hill, and Reservoir could all be some of Atholton’s toughest competition. 

     Atholton basketball has a young team this year, but Coach Albert said it’s still the same expectations for any year. “I think anytime you come off a championship I think there’s some pressure but our guys understand their expectations. I think every year is a chance to hang a banner and that’s how we approach it. Whether that happens or not doesn’t mean we’re not successful but it gives our guys something to reach for.”  

Posted by evan464

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