- May 16, 2018
The Windermere High School boys basketball team fell one game short of becoming state champions after falling to Riviera Prep 51-27 during the championship game Saturday, March 4.
“I’m extremely proud of our group,” head basketball coach Brian Hoff said. “This is a group that kind of from the beginning of the season was sort of doubted. We overcame a lot, we got a ton better as the year progressed. The group … bonded very well as a team, we just didn't play our best. So, it stinks that it came in this moment, but over the course of the year this group defied odds, and I’m just proud of their togetherness and proud of their competitiveness in order to get this far.”
In what it was a very fast paced game, the Bulldogs got ahead of the Lakers early, taking the lead during the first quarter all the way to the final whistle.
“I thought their defense was great,” Hoff said. “I thought they were in the passing lanes, (and) their passing lane pressure affected a lot of the stuff that we ran.”
Senior and point guard Aiden Fletcher helped lead the team during his last game as a Laker, and during his last season as a high school student-athlete.
“It was a great experience,” he said. “We all came together. Young guys put their trust in me and I put my trust in them and we came a long way. We didn’t get the results that we wanted but, I had a great time with those guys.”
Moving forward, the Lakers will continue practicing their steps and working on their fundamentals so next year, they can come back ready to rumble.
“I’ve got to get our guys better prepared to play against teams like (Riviera Prep) next year,” Hoff said. “We are going to lose two on the court, seniors Mason Williams and Aiden Fletcher. Those guys were awesome this year, but obviously, we do have a very young team so I think this will motivate us. I think they had an amazing experience being a part of this run but, at the end of the day, I think they leave more hungry than anything, so I think it should help propel us into the next season.”