This past weekend, Huron Valley Lutheran High School (HVL) hosted its annual grade school tournament for the various WELS grade schools in the southeast Michigan area, including one school from Jenera, Ohio. (Try and find it on a map. It's southwest of Findlay.)
Philip's St. Peter's team entered the tournament ranked the #3 seed. The first game was a win against Peace Lutheran School of Livonia, 34-21. Coach Theurer managed to give all the kids a good deal of playing time in this one, which was good because they did not get much playing time in the remaining two games.
Saturday's game had us facing the #2 seed (and eventual tournament champs) Divine Grace Lutheran School of Lake Orion. I figured we would have our hands full against this team, but we did not help ourselves at all. Many shots just wouldn't fall. That happens. You can't do much about that. But bad passing and unforced turnovers led to a LOT of break away layups and gimme points for Divine Grace. The final was a St. Peter's loss, 24-40.
Sunday was the 3rd place game against Trinity Lutheran School of Jenera, Ohio. This was a hard-fought game and stayed very close throughout. Philip was on fire in the first half. If memory serves, he hit three 3-pointers. Down 32-31 with about 10 seconds left, St. Peter's had the ball and was passing it around to chew up clock and take the last shot. But Trinity's defense stepped up and never gave St. Peter's a good look at the hoop. The last second shot attempt was not a very good look and it did not go in. So, St. Peter's ended up with a 4th place finish after the 32-31 loss.
While the St. Peter's Eagles certainly wanted a trophy, it is nice to see the bitterness of defeat does not stick to these kids very long. Many of them stayed to watch the remaining games and cheer on other kids with whom they have made some nice friendships.
Actually, St. Peter's did come home with one trophy -- the Sportsmanship Award for exemplary behavior on the basketball court. I am proud of them for winning that. But to be fair to all other teams, all the kids (from what I witnessed) were very well behaved and respectful. They all had that to be proud of.