The Steers and Lady Blues basketball seasons both ended in a two-day span.
The boys season was done Tuesday night after a 67-55 loss to Iowa Park on Senior Night.
Though the Steers had the charge of their home crowd for the do-or-die district game, Graham was insufficient in taking care of their possessions for the majority of the game.
The girls season ended a 45-34 bi-district round loss to Springtown Wednesday night in Jacksboro.
The Blues had more turnovers than points in the first three quarters, letting a fantastic 17-point/3 turnover fourth quarter go to waste.
The two teams share a lot in common.
Neither won many games, but to say only that reduces two dynamic teams to one unfair statistic. So, to be more specific:
They both struggled with an identity crisis that held them back, and they both had moments where they looked like world-beaters. Both struggled with roster turbulence and weather rescheduling nightmares. Both play in an extremely competitive district and fought hard every second of every game regardless of the outcome.
Both teams played every game with class.
The Blues had a few games that could be used to commemorate the best the team had to offer.
They got a win they desperately needed just before district began against Poolville.
The victory was huge for a team made up of a bunch of individuals trying to find their role.
But I think the biggest win for the Blues came in the extra district game against Vernon to decide who would finish third and fourth.
In that game the Blues had their first comeback, and by that time everyone knew their job.
Hannah Reed took care of the ball.
Candice Martin drained threes.
Madison Farmer drove to the basket.
Lanna Plaster got position down low, and Macey Spears and Rylee Zimmer each got boards.
The pieces of the machine were working toward the collective goal with high efficiency and resolve.
The win gave hope that the Blues could get past the first round in the following week, but it ultimately wasn’t meant to be.
As for the Steers, coincidentally, their best moment also occurred during the game before their elimination.
Though Graham suffered a 60-50 loss in their second district game against Hirschi, the town was buzzing, and it looked as though the Steers could hang in there with legitimate competition.
Offensively, the Steers put a premium on possession for the first time and cut out a lot of the turnovers that had plagued the first half of the season.
In doing so, Graham effectively slowed the game down and kept the speedy Huskies at bay for most of the game.
Bryce Reeves scored 20 points in the game, making four three-pointers to lead the team.
The final score doesn’t fully show how close Graham was to beating a top 25 team.
Hirschi made free throws in the waning minutes when Graham was forced to foul, increasing the deficit of the final score.
The Steers posted double-digit scoring in all four quarters, and though they came up short, it was the best the team played all season.
It wasn’t an ideal season for either team, but both journeys featured a handful of moments that stood out among players, coaches and fans.
Seniors like Reeves, Martin, Wyatt Walker, Parker Hudson, Hannah Reed, Macey Spears, Chandler Mason and Rand Ramsey will be greatly missed by their respective programs.