‘This is the best start in history’: boys basketball boasts triumphant season


Photo provided by: Dean Stewart Photography

On Dec. 2, senior Nolan Moran and junior Jadon Thayer watch as senior Eric Vandendriessche attempts to make a point in the game against Lyman. The game ended with the Patriots victorious with a score of 61-35, 19 of those points scored by Vandendriessche. “He [Vandendriessche] is averaging 19 points and 8 rebounds a game,” varsity boys basketball coach Mike Cuff said. “He has been a big part of our success.”

Avery Ranum, Editor-in-Chief

Besides exciting games, the varsity boys’ basketball team is known for one core thing: winning. The team is currently ranked number one in the district and are the defending district champion entering the season. The 13-man team is studded with all upperclassmen, and that high level of experience is present in their current 10-2 record. 

The team’s immense success can be attributed to the clear chemistry the players have with one another. From the unselfish movement of the ball to the evident trust in one another, the team plays as a cohesive unit, a feat some are not able to achieve relatively early in a season. 

“We don’t have any egos on the team,” senior Eric Vandendriessche said. “All the guys only care about winning, which has been great because most teams don’t have that attitude. We have been playing together with each other for many years and we all know each other very well.”

One of the most significant achievements of the team thus far happened on Dec. 16 when the boys pulled out a win over the previously undefeated Master’s Academy Eagles. The Eagles were riding on an impressive eight-game winning streak until their face-off against Lake Brantley. As of Jan. 5, their only loss is to the Patriots. 

“Going into that game they were ranked higher than us,” junior Jacob Joseph said. “We went into that game with everyone expecting us to lose. Us winning that game like we did showed them that we are a legit team and teams need to watch out for us.”

Their win over Master’s Academy was a part of another big achievement for the team: a seven-game winning streak. The Patriots defeated seven teams in a row throughout Dec., one of those wins also being against the school’s rival: the Lake Mary Rams. 

“It feels great to reach a seven-game win streak and we plan to continue it by focusing on what makes us win,” Vandendriessche said. “The Lake Mary game is always really fun, especially with the big student section plus we all played really well.”

The boys have approximately 11 games remaining in the regular season with their eyes set on a return trip to districts and beyond. The team recognizes that to achieve their goals, they must continue to foster their camaraderie. 

“Our coach, Coach Anderson, always says never let the highs get too high and the lows get too low,” Joseph said. “We’ve got to not dwell upon our past wins and keep moving forward and winning games.”