Finishing a season undefeated at any level of a sport is never an easy task, doing so in a nearly complete domination of all opponents is even harder. That is exactly what the seventh-grade basketball team did at Sealy Junior High last week.
On Jan. 30, the Sealy Tigers took on Sweeny for the district championship and as was the case for most of their season, they won handily 49-16. The win capped off a perfect 14-0 season for the team in which they scored 552 total points and only allowed 254 on the season. They also averaged 39 points per game while allowing just 18 points per game.
Head Coach Jason Luckett said the team had faced some adversity off the court which is what truly brought the team together.
“One of the players lost his mom and so we lost him for the rest of the season so he really became a rallying point for us as a team to come together and support not just him but each other as well and then we went out and beat Stafford in our closest game of the season which proved we were more than just one good player but a good unit altogether,” Luckett said.
The 25-24 win was the Tigers narrowest margin of victory this season and was the closest game since the team’s season opener and their first matchup against Stafford in which Sealy won 34-32. Luckett said the team’s second-to-last game of the season against West Brazos was the clearest point of distinction for the team.
“That was a really talented undefeated team that we beat 50-25 which proved that when played up to our full capabilities, we knew we could beat anybody,” he said. “I think a lot of these kids have talent level that matches what I saw of Reece Novicke when I coached him at this level.”
Novicke is one of two sophomores who was on the high school basketball roster this season.
Luckett said the team didn’t rely on talent alone but drove to make themselves better as the season progressed as well.
“I don’t think I’ve ever coached a group of guys like this before,” the coach said. “I would never give them a practice off but even if I tried, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t let me. Everyone wants to be cheered for in the stands but you have to work for that and these kids are embracing that.”
He also said the community that helped him and the team throughout the season only strengthened the bond between the players, parents and coaches. He said he’s confident the maturity of the junior high players and their drive to keep improving will mean future success as they make their way towards varsity in the coming years.