Boys basketball gains ground despite setback


Hannah Kopek

Junior Tavari Johnson drives to the basket through Minooka’s defense. The Wildcats won 58-56.

Hannah Kopek, Sport's Editor

The boys’ basketball team is focused on improvement. Being his second year as Head Coach, Gregg Bayer is proud of his team who has an 11-12 record so far this season.
“We started our season with a lot of ups and downs,” Bayer said.
According to Javari Johnson, junior, the team was most challenged by Downers Grove North, a team with many division one athletes. They were able to pull off a win there, and in many other games.
“This year we got 2nd in our Christmas Tournament,” Tavari Johnson, junior, said. “We are trying to improve from last season.”
Despite the wins in December, the team had to push even harder in January after losing junior Brandon Shoemaker to an allergic reaction. He was out for a few weeks, but now works even harder to make up for the time he lost on the court.
“It really brought me down,” Shoemaker said. “But I think I’m coming back along, especially in the game against Minooka.”
Even with the set-back, the team has come back stronger than years before.
“I think as a team we’ve improved a lot,” Marc Arsenault, senior, said. “We passed up our win record from last season.”
Bayer does everything in his power to keep his athletes going.
“We have a really good group of guys, many of whom are self-motivating,” Bayer said. “We make every practice as competitive as possible.”
The Johnson twins push each other to become better players.
“It’s fun playing with Jay. Whenever one of us makes a nice move, we always smile at each other and say, ‘you got that from me’,” T. Johnson said.
Basketball also influences the lives of the players off the court.
“It’s brought my family and I closer with supplying me with the endless support of my friends and family,” Maurice McCullum, senior, said.
Their next game is tonight at home against conference team Joliet West.