By Gaylen Duskey |
The long and winding road called the 2005-06 basketball season ended Monday
Not as the Calhoun Red Devils may have wanted it to but it ended on
an up note nonetheless.
Calhoun lost to Wirt County 52-49 in the first round of the regional
tournament (Region 4, Section 2). It was the 20th loss in 23 games.
one just looks at those numbers - the loss and the 3-20 record - Monday
night's game was just another failure in a season of failures.
And in a way Monday's game was a microcosm of the entire season: Fall
behind, fight back, fail at the end.
Calhoun did fall behind as Wirt County shot a ton of free throws and hit a
bunch of three-point shots to take a lead that got as high as 14 points
before Calhoun started its comeback.
But the comeback was classic Calhoun.
The Red Devils whipped out the press
for the Tigers and it worked quite well as Calhoun forced turnover after
turnover cutting the score quickly in the fourth quarter. Only the Tigers'
prowess at the free throw line (and Wirt seemed to shoot a lot of free
throws) kept them ahead.
The Red Devils managed to cut the Tigers lead to three late in the game and
twice had a shot at tying it.
Both times the shot missed.
But that was only the game seen at the surface level.
The game at the next level said volumes about Calhoun's basketball team.
That's where things were really interesting.
Take for instance how each player performed:
Senior Gerwig played his last game with all the heart and court smarts
that he has ever shown. He was the titular leader of the team. It was his
team. In his last game he nearly willed the Red Devils to one more game.
Senior Tyler Shartiger showed his grace - both physical and mental - on
both ends of the court. He also showed his speed by running down Wirt
players on numerous occasions. He was an all-LKC wide receiver and he showed
that athletic prowess all night long.
Steven Cunningham was another all-LKC football player. He was an
outstanding defensive player . a very physical player. He was a physical
basketball player too as he literally tore the ball away from others en
route to a rebound. He also had a nice touch around the basket.
Michael Sullivan, Calhoun's fourth senior, did not get in the game against
Wirt. That's too bad because he probably has more spirit than any Calhoun
athlete to come down the pike in ages. Marines call it espirit de corps.
Calhoun just calls it Sully.
Sophomore Matt Houchin made this team his team. He will be the "Man" next
year for the Reed Devils. His improvement in every aspect of the game over
the past month has been amazing. He's going to be a field general like his
older brother Zach was . only with a little better shot as his game-high 16
John and Jacob Dodd showed improvement as the season went on. John is
fluid and quick around the basket. He is also strong defensively as was
illustrated by his block of a shot by Wirt's Alex Wilson. Jacob is the
surprising one of the two and he can really hurt any team that doubts his
shooting touch. During halftime warm-ups he was shooting a little baby hook
shot. He should try that in a game since he didn't miss a one.
Josh DeWeese and Andrew Norman have unlimited potential. Just a sophomore
DeWeese needs to add some bulk and experience. He should be a good one
before graduating. Norman, a junior, is smooth and quick and has shown all
the tools. Once he starts using all the tools at the same time he could be
Lucas Morford, J.J. Bremar and Jesse Kessler all showed flashes off the
bench. None played against Wirt but all had their moments during the season.
Travis Godfrey. He has leukemia. It is in remission. It is tough for him
to play. But he has played and he has asked no quarter. He probably never
This was a long season. A season where things did not turn out the way they
would have wanted . Nobody wants to go 3-20. But it was a season where they
learned what was inside them. And when they battled back from 14 down to
within a whisker of beating Wirt County - showing their mettle.
Be proud guys because you never quit.