Apaches lose to Tri-County Academy in Class A Finals
MARKS, MS—The Glenbrook Apaches came up just short in their quest for a MAIS Class A basketball state championship, as they fell in the Championship Game, 68-46, to Tri-County on Saturday.
The Apaches had reached the MAIS Class A title game with a 50-41 win over Claiborne Academy in Friday's semi-final match-up.
"I could not be more proud of the 11 young men on our team this year," Apache head coach Chris Kourvelas said. "Our overall record of 30-4 is something very special. Not many high school or college teams accomplish a 30 win season. Not many high school or college teams get to play for a championship. I know that Glenbrook has not gone to a State Championship game in a long time, but we had that opportunity, we did it and I hope that we were not only able to make a name for ourselves, but also for our school."
The teams played to a 10-10 in the first quarter, but Tri-County out-scored Glenbrook 20-7 in the second to take a 30-17 half time lead. Tri-County took the final two quarters, 17-11, and 21-18 to make the final, 68-46.
"We came out in the first quarter and things looked okay," Kourvelas said. "We were making shots, and we were executing on defense. However, things went downhill rather quickly. We could not seem to get an offensive board, we started questioning our offensive sets and passes, we also started playing very scared and timid on defense."
That was also about the time that several questionable calls seemed to go against the Apaches. By the end of the game, the foul differential (29 called against Glenbrook to just 10 on Tri-County) was a huge factor in th outcome of the game.
"I wanna say I am a bit disappointed," Kourvelas said. "Not in our players, by any means, they hustled and never gave up. What I am disappointed in is the whole process of the tournament and more than that, the officials. Now, let me say, that I have never put blame on officials in a game, I totally understand they are doing their job and I respect them. However, when it is a State Championship game, you are supposed to have what is considered the best officials out there."
Kourvelas noted some disappointing actions by the officials.
"I mean, I want what is best for my boys (and everyone should feel the same way) but to me and a lot of others, it just seemed biased and unfair," he said. "But with that being said, we can not dwell on it, what happened is over and done with. We are not going to hang our heads, we are not going to keep griping about it, I try to teach our boys that everything is a lesson (either on or off the court). From this, we can take that life is not going to be fair, people and things will always be there to throw you a curve ball, but you learn from it, you grow and you move on."
Zach Specht and Cade Spurlock each scored 12 points to lead the Apaches. Mookie Mack added nine points and Wesley Hicks had seven points and 11 rebounds.
Despite the loss, the Apaches' season is not quite over. As the Class A State Runner-up, they are qualified for the MAIS Overall Tournament that features teams from A, AA and AAA classes. The Apaches will play AAA Hilcrest Tuesday at 1:15 p.m. at Mississippi College.
In Friday's semi-final win over Claiborne, the Apaches led 32-18 at the half and went on to win, 50-41.
"We knew that the C.A. game was going to be a tough one," Kourvelas said. "We came out in the first half and were able to get some good looks to the basket and took a pretty good lead. However, the second half, we allowed CA to put a bit of a run on us, but we were able to keep ahold of our lead and kept our composure throughout the rest of the game. I gotta give credit to CA though, they played a good game and their defense was tough, but we responded well. I am so very proud of our boys and our coaching staff for coming together and doing what we needed to do in order to make it to the State Championship game.
Specht led the team with a double-double of 15 points and 13 rebounds Spurlcok added 14 points and eight rebounds and Wesley Hicks totaled nine points and 12 rebounds. Mookie mack dropped in six points and 10 rebounds.