The Scholar-Led News Site of One School of the Arts

The Walter Times

The Walter Times

The Walter Times

Solar Eclipse 2024
Solar Eclipse 2024
April 25, 2024
The Bell Jar
The Bell Jar
April 12, 2024
Aylie Owens, seventh grade, led some of her peers to pray over the dancers and their hardships.
Break a Leg
April 12, 2024

Tournament-Bound: Your OS Lions Varsity Basketball Team

Following a crucial victory over Liberty, the OS Lions Varsity Basketball Team secured the second seed in the Eastern Conference to progress to the state tournament.
Juan Ruiz
To start off the game, Jeremiah Schilling, sophmore, jumps in the air for the tip-off, giving the Lions the first possession of the game.

In their first year of eligibility for the Sunshine Christian League State Tournament, the OS Lions Varsity Basketball Team clinched the second seed in the Eastern Conference, securing their spot in the tournament.

From the four different conferences, North, South, East, and West, only the top two teams record-wise can qualify for the state tournament. For the majority of the season, the Lions were in a three-way tie for first place in the conference with their rivals, Liberty and Holy Cross.

Holy Cross eventually secured the first place seeding in the East after defeating the Lions at home, leaving the OS Lions and Liberty to battle for the final seed in the last game of the regular season.

The stakes were as high as they had been all season for either side, as both the Lions and Liberty came into the game with the same record, with a win-and-in, lose-and-out scenario for both teams. Liberty had defeated the Lions 44-36 when the two had met in the first game of the season, and the Lions knew they had to do something different this time around to secure their place in the tournament.

“We lost to [Liberty] by eight points our first game of the season, and we all vowed never to allow that to happen again,” said Ethan Prendergrast, freshman. “We prepared for the Liberty game since the final buzzer sounded in the last Lions versus Liberty game. We conditioned ourselves, found our rhythm as a team, and found the keys to beating Liberty: strong self-discipline and trusting in your teammates, both when you’re winning or losing.”

Point Guard Ethan Prendergrast, freshman, drives into the paint and dishes out a pass to Power Forward Justin Lundberg, freshman, for an assist. (Juan Ruiz)

In a game where the two teams kept it close until the very end, the Lions pulled away with the victory, winning 49-41, earning their spot in the tournament behind Power Forward Jaylen Camillo’s (Junior) 18 points.

“I could feel the sweat pouring at the end of the game,” Camillo said. “Everyone was exhausted, and there was an unmatched intensity throughout the game. We were literally battling for everything we’d worked for all season, and we weren’t going to let this game slip away from us. We gave it our all on the court, and going to the state tournament is just the result of all our collective efforts all season, not just one game.”

As the final buzzer sounded, Power Forward Jaylen Camillo, junior, let out a lion-like roar in the wake of their crucial victory. (Juan Ruiz)

For one player in particular, the season meant even more than just making the tournament. Senior Isaac Schilling moved from Ohio to Florida in 2022, where he was homeschooled until senior year. “I would say it’s the ultimate comeback,” Schilling stated. “I came from being homeschooled and not being involved in anything to being part of a family through the basketball team. It just so happens that this family ended up making the state tournament. I’m grateful for each and every one of the guys on the team and the life-long relationships we’ve all formed with one another. It’s a really transformative experience, and I know that competing in this tournament side-by-side with these guys will only strengthen the bonds we’ve already formed.”

As the OS Lions Varsity Basketball Team finished the season with a record of 10-2 within the league and 13-3 in total, it wasn’t a huge jump from last year’s final record of 8-2, but the consistency is remarkable considering only three out of the eleven players on Varsity were on the team last year.

“Even though we lost over half of our roster from the year before, the passion and drive to win never changed,” said Center Roman Miller, senior. “We kept the winning spirit from last year’s team alive and well, through both the highs and the lows.”

Now, as the Lions head into the State Tournament as the second seed, they face the first seed in the North division, Cavalry. They face off February 29th, at 10am, for the first game of the tournament. Keep up with their progress HERE.

Donate to The Walter Times

Your donation will support the student journalists of One School of the Arts. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Simeon Gordon
Simeon Gordon, Senior Staff
Simeon Gordon is a junior at OSOTA. He has attended One School for nine years and has served on the Lion's Pride Journalism Team for two years. He enjoys socializing and playing sports whenever he can and is currently considering applying to a trade school to find his future career.
Donate to The Walter Times