The road to states: The Spartans hope to seek redemption at states

Jack Almeida, Staff Writer

Seabury Hall’s boys basketball team is the number one team in the Maui Interscholastic League Division II for the eighth consecutive year. Although this has become a regular occurrence, there is a lot more riding on this season than there was in previous seasons.

Last year, the Spartans did what no one in Maui’s D-II league has done since the 1970s: they made it to the state final. In that game, they faced University Lab and lost 46-31. The Spartans hope to return to the state D-II tournament this year with a goal of winning it all.

Two-year varsity sophomore center Connor Jenkins says, “I feel really good about it really excited. I’m really looking forward to playing our state rivals St. Francis and University Lab. I think that it is going to be a tough but very fun experience.”

The Spartans were fortunate not to lose any seniors last year, so the team’s roster has not changed. Four-year varsity senior shooting guard Cameron Hanisch says, “ We have a lot of very very good individual players who are used to having to do a lot on their own, since we have so many good pieces it would be a lot better if we could fit them together.”

Although the team’s competition hasn’t been as challenging this season as they had hoped it would be, seeing as the team wins by 20 or more on a regular basis, two-year varsity senior shooting guard Chandler Dobson says, “I think it’s good because it is a chance for us to master and learn perfectly what we need to know. But honestly the preseason gave us a better glimpse of what we should expect bases on the quality.”

Coach Scott Prather, who has been the team’s head coach for six years, also believes that the team’s greatest obstacle is staying hungry and continuing to get better throughout the regular season. He says, “The most challenging part right now to me is maintaining that hunger to continue to get better because when we see our competition level is a little bit lower what we would like, it’s easy to get complacent it’s easy get very almost bored with the process. But it’s important to stay hungry, to stay aggressive, to stay passionate about the sport so you can continue to get better and peak at the right time which is when the state tournament rolls around.”

The team is having yet another great season posting a record of 11-1 while outscoring their league opponents 715-307. The season has been going well so far, but the Spartans did suffer their first loss the past weekend on Friday, Feb. 3 to the Lana’i Pine Lads (51-35).

It was a controversial loss, that snapped the Spartans 10 game winning streak. But the Spartans were unfazed coming home with a win over the Pine Lads the next day with a score of 65-19.

Four-year varsity senior center Christian Jenkins says, “Well, I think we came together after [Friday’s] game discussed what happened, and the consensus from everybody there was we didn’t have a reason, we didn’t have anything pushing us or fueling our emotional tanks. And I think that once we cared it showed the next day with the results and the score. But, overall, everyone didn’t play as one, and I believe it was just a lot of selfish basketball being played. But after that we all kind of determined that our main goal is getting a state championship, and I think all our eyes are focused on that.”

The Spartans will be heading to Hana this weekend for the MIL D-II basketball tournament. If they come away with a win in the championship game, they will be the MIL D-II champions. If things go as the team plans they will be on a plane to Oahu next week Wednesday, in pursuit of being crowned the state champions. The Snapple Basketball State Championship will be held on Oahu on Wednesday, Feb. 15 through Friday, Feb. 17.