Men’s basketball starts off with 3-4 record

Head   in   the   Game:  Dribbling down the court, sophomore Gavin Morse looks past a Prosser player as he makes his way towards the net. The Titans went on to win the game 57-44.

Ziming Xie

Head in the Game: Dribbling down the court, sophomore Gavin Morse looks past a Prosser player as he makes his way towards the net. The Titans went on to win the game 57-44.

Isabella Albrecht, staff reporter

Starting off their season 3-4, the men’s basketball team looks to build off of their hard preseason work and achieve their goal of a regional title, according to senior captain Matt Giannakopoulos.

The Titans won their first game of the year against Christian Liberty by a score of 89-40, which, according to Giannakopoulos, energized the team and provided lots of promise for a successful season.

“Offensively especially, we fit really well together,” Giannakopoulos said. “We moved the ball very well in our first game. I think we can be good [this year].”

Although the team had a strong first game and have high hopes for the season, they lost to Stevenson 81-53 on Nov. 22 in their second game of the year. However, according to Will King, sophomore point guard, the loss had some positive takeaways, in that it gave the team room to grow and improve.

“It’s a good learning experience for us because we know we have to come out and play hard every single game,” King said. “We can’t take games off.”

Head coach Ben Widner agrees with King that the players need to give all their effort every game. He strives to instill the importance a good work ethic in his team.

“We want to be the hardest working team that [GBS] has had,” Widner said. “It’s a serious challenge to get there, but we want to be that.”

In addition to their practice and dedication in season, Widner says a lot of their success was based on the work they put into the off season. Not only did the coaches use the off season to develop the player’s skillset, but according to Widner, they also worked hard on determining what type of team they wanted to be.

This year, the team features eight seniors, who Widner feels are ready to take over. Giannakopoulos is working hard to develop his leadership skills and to guide as the team develops their new identity.

“I like leading by example, but I’m working on talking more with my teammates and being more of a vocal leader,” Giannakopoulos said.

Not only is Giannakopoulos working on leadership, but he is also excited to be on the court and play in his final season at GBS.

“This is my senior year, [and] I’m not taking any of it for granted,” Giannakopoulos said. “I’m looking forward to the whole year, every game is going to be fun and exciting.”

In addition to the seniors, the team has two juniors and three sophomores. According to Widner, having that many sophomores called up is unusual. Despite the challenges of playing on a bigger stage, King, being a sophomore, feels he fits well with the team and enjoys the experience.

“It’s definitely a lot different than other levels I’ve been playing on because the game is so much faster, and the guys are so much bigger,” King said. “Obviously there is some pressure that comes with it, but I try not to let the pressure get to me. I just try and play my game.”

Not only does the team strive to be successful on the court, but according to Widner, he wants to develop the character of each person on his team. The idea of “selflessness” is something he constantly instills in his players.

“Think outside yourself,” Widner said. “Give to others, starting with teammates, but then also in other areas of life too.”

The men’s basketball team will hit the court again on Dec. 22 in Wheeling. Their next home game is against New Trier on Jan. 20 at 7 p.m.