SELMA, INDIANA --- The Wapahani Raiders men’s basketball program is no stranger to success. However, the team took that standard to new heights over the weekend as they captured their first sectional championship in program history.
“We made a goal all summer and all fall and then throughout the season to stay focused on winning the sectional, it was a great accomplishment,” said Matt Luce, the Wapahani head coach. “Then to win Saturday night against Carroll (Flora) was great and kind of a history-making thing for our school.”
The team opened the season with a loss to Muncie Central, but since that November matchup, the Raiders have put together a 25-game winning streak that includes the four recent playoff victories that have placed them in this weekend’s class 2A semi-state semifinal game.
“We were excited honestly to have another week of practice,” Luce said. “We have a team that really gets along, a team that cares about each other, and that is not often seen. Most of the time, by this point in the year in high school basketball, it’s a long season and everybody is ready to be over with it. Our guys weren’t and our coaches weren’t. We were excited just to be playing again and have another opportunity to show what kind of a team we have.”
While the team took time to celebrate the historic achievement, the notion that there was still work to be done never crept too far from their minds.
“We love celebrating of course, dancing in the locker room and stuff, but after a day off, we have to lock in at practice,” said Isaac Andrews, the junior guard. “We have to make sure we’re focused as a team and we aren’t looking forward to anything else, just this weekend.”
For senior Aidan Franks, the season has been more than memorable. After an upsetting defeat in last year’s sectional, the team’s leading scorer is on a mission to do everything he can to cherish these final games.
“Since it’s my last year, it's had a little bit more of a special meaning,” Franks said. “I’m trying to leave everything out there because I don’t know when my last game is going to be and I’m just trying to have fun while I’m doing it.”
The Raiders will travel to Logansport on Saturday morning for a 10 a.m. tipoff against Lewis Cass High School. The winner will earn the right to advance to the semi-state championship game to face either 21st Century Charter or Fort Wayne Black Hawk Christian.
Contact Ryan Sierocki with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org