Blackhawk Christian’s boys’ basketball team set the bar very high for themselves going into this season. These lofty expectations were well deserved, considering that the program brought back all five starters from a team that won a Sectional Championship a year ago. Now almost halfway through the season, Braves fans have been offered plenty of excitement from this team, mostly due to many heart-racing games as well as multiple phenomenal achievements reached by a few Braves this year. Senior Joey Morlan recently broke the 1,000 career points mark, a feat that few ever reach in a high school career. Also, defensive stopper senior Preston Rippe broke the BCS record for most charges in a season. In another outstanding feat, senior Wes Davidson scored 42 points vs. Woodlan, breaking the BCS single-game scoring record, previously held by Russell Byrd.
Yet thus far in the season, it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows for this team. After a 6-0 start, the Braves had a rough Christmas break, losing 4 of 5 games, and currently stand at an 8-4 record. This year’s team has a potent offense thanks to many skilled players who can really fill it up. Multiple players can score 20 points on any given night. The Braves have shown the greatness that they are capable of, but at times, they have played far worse than they expect of themselves, particularly on defense. Despite such a talented offense, defense has been the main reason for some of the Braves’ struggles this year. Blackhawk’s coaching staff, which includes two former Big Ten college basketball players, knows from experience that defense is what wins championships. In order for Blackhawk to reach the heights that the boys dreamed of before the season, this team must collectively commit to shoring up its defense.
The great thing about this group is that they know that success on the basketball court is not even close to being the most important thing in life. A mission trip to Panama last summer really cemented that truth in the hearts of these players. The mission trip showed the boys how blessed they truly are and that service is more important than success. The players understand that more important than winning basketball games is the lessons that basketball teaches you, the relationships you build, and honoring Christ in the way you play. The squad gets together when they can to have small group, which includes reading God’s Word, discussing their walks with Christ, and praying together. If you were to ask any member of the team which group of people they have the most fun with, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who wouldn’t say “my basketball team.” This group shares a unique bond and unity that is rarely seen in a team. BCS’s boys basketball team verse this year is Philippians 3:14: “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”