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Eagles lose in quarterfinals, set school records
by Ericka Birdsong
ebirdsong@neighbornewspapers.com
March 06, 2013 10:35 AM | 1148 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From left, Excel Christian School basketball players Elijah Robinson and Korey Tucker.
From left, Excel Christian School basketball players Elijah Robinson and Korey Tucker.
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After defeating Holy Innocents’, 57-49, in the first round of the GHSA Basketball State Playoffs, the Excel Christian boys’ basketball team ended their season with a 67-40 loss to Aquinas in the Class A quarterfinals.

While the final score doesn’t show a huge deficit, the score at halftime was disappointing for head coach Jon-Michael Nickerson as he said his team was as bad as Aquinas was good in that half.

“We tied the game 5-5 at about the 3:30 mark in the first and from that point on the flood gates opened up for them. They went on a 29-3 run to finish the first half with a score of 34-8. For a team like us to only score three points in 12 minutes is unbelievable,” Nickerson said.

Nickerson did give his team a great amount of credit for coming out in the second half and playing hard enough to close the gap as much as they did.

“We were tough, scrappy, getting turnovers and scoring aggressively but it was too deep of a hole,” said Nickerson.

This was a change of pace from the game against Holy Innocents’ as Nickerson said he felt like his team played a “pretty complete game.”

“We got tough stops when we needed on defense against a very balanced team. We rebounded the ball fairly well against one of the largest teams we faced all year and we hit clutch free throws down the stretch to put the game out of reach,” said Nickerson.

Now that the season is over, offseason workouts are the next step and Nickerson said he plans to conduct the offseason this year just as he has for the last two.

“I will work my tail off with them in the weight room and on the court to continue trying to develop each and every player to reach their ceiling. We will get in some camps to see where we’re at as a team and what we need to work on moving forward,” Nickerson said.

Overall Nickerson said he is pleased with the season as they “shattered” records at the 20-year-old school — such as the team’s 26 overall wins — and set the bar for future teams.

“Our guys shattered every record that ever existed at this school. They can always take pride knowing that every team from here on out will be chasing what they’ve done together…It was an emotional time when it ended. It was sad to see it come to an end because they had their eye on a bigger prize,” said Nickerson.
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