Hudson Valley Sports Report

RICH THOMASELLI COMMENTARY: A SEASON STILL ETCHED IN HISTORY

Lourdes Boys Basketball Cement A Legacy

BINGHAMTON – A brilliant season for the Our Lady of Lourdes High School boys basketball team came to an end on Sunday afternoon in the most heartbreaking way possible – a tough loss in the state championship.

Yet the loss still cemented history as the first state title appearance in the best season in the 58-year history of the school.

No, wait.

It was more than that.

The game and the season cemented a legacy.

Rich Thomaselli Commentary

There might have been better teams in the history of OLL boys basketball, if you’re talking strictly from an Xs and Os standpoint. There might have been teams with a better record, if you’re talking strictly wins and losses. There might have been better overall talent or better players than Warriors superstar center James Anozie, if you’re talking strictly by where they’re going to school (Lourdes coach Jim Santoro has sent two players to Division I in his 28-year career, several to Division II, and Anozie is leaning toward Division III Keene State).

But that’s all semantics.

See, here’s the thing.

No Lourdes basketball team – No. Team. – will be more special than this one and for one reason and one reason only. It was a team in every sense of the world.

No bitching.

No moaning.

No griping.

No cliques.

No playing time issues.

Nothing.

The beauty of this year’s edition of Our Lady of Lourdes High School boys basketball is that everybody accepted his role for what it was. Santoro only went six or seven deep much of the season anyway, and it meant limited minutes for players like Colin Murray, Malik Wright, Avery Lyu, Divine Anozie, Brian Arceri, Chris Salotto and Corey Mullaly.

Yet this magnificent season is all theirs, too. It’s all theirs because of a mindset to help the team succeed, to come to practice every day and push the first unit to the brink, to come off the bench in spot situations and contribute.

Oh, make no mistake, this historical run is every much theirs as it is Aidan and Brady Hilderbrand, Kevin Townes, John Arceri, Joe Heavey and Anozie.

And that’s what makes this team so special. From superstar to role player, they made themselves into heroes. They etched themselves into Lourdes history. They did something few players and teams ever get the chance to do.

Create a legacy.

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