Boys’ basketball falls in Regional Final to Proviso East

Will Kincanon finished a fantastic high school career in somewhat disappointing fashion

Will Kincanon finished a fantastic high school career in somewhat disappointing fashion

Steven Baer, Sports Editor

Proviso East has been one of the best basketball programs in the state. They’ve produced a plethura of great players. Dee Brown, a 2002 graduate, led University of Illinois to the Final Four in 2005 and had a brief stint in the NBA. 1991 grad, Michael Finley had a tremendous NBA career featuring two All-Star selections and Championship ring in 2007 with the Spurs. Former Pirate Shannon Brown has served as a solid role player for nine different NBA teams since his entrance into the association in 2006, and is currently a member of the San Antonio Spurs. Doc Rivers is arguably the most notable Proviso East grad. After a successful 13 year playing career, Rivers became a head coach. He won an NBA title in 2008 with the Celtics, and he now serves as the coach for the Los Angelas Clippers… I digress. The point is, Proviso East is one of the best annual powerhouses in the state.

On Friday, March 7, the Bulldogs took on the Pirates for a shot at the Regional championship. Regardless of Proviso’s storied history, and overwhelming odds, the Bulldogs were determined to give the Pirates their best shot.

The Bulldogs began the game in horrific fashion, turning the ball over 10 times in the first quarter alone. The Dogs fell to a 21-11 deficit by the end of the first. The Bulldogs hung around in the second, but Proviso East hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to extend their lead to 34-24 at half. However the Bulldogs still had a few cards up their sleeves.

“Basketball is a game of runs,” junior Sam Johnson said,” They had theirs and sure enough we had ours.”

In the third quarted the Dogs turned things around going on a 20-10 that was capped off by a Will Kincanon buzzer beater to close the third, notching the game up at 44 a piece. The Bulldogs led four with five minutes and change left. But those pesky turnovers reard their ugly head in once again, propelling Proviso East to a 8-0 run.

“The turnovers, that was definitely the problem said sophomore Mark Smith,” If we had cut back, we may be talking about a different outcome.”

Although the Bulldogs did all they could to rekindle the lead once again, their efforts were all for not. The Dogs prolonged the game by fouling, but it just extended Proviso lead. The game ended with the Bulldogs falling 72-65.

The lost to Proviso ended the careers of seniors Will Kincanon and Jack VandeMerkt. Kincanon will be attending Middle Tennesse State next year on a baseball scholarship. VandeMerkt is undecided for college but is steadfast to play ball at the next level

“They had great careers,” said Johnson,” They were great leaders and they will be missed.”

Next season, however the Dogs must move on under the guidance of new leaders. With three returning starters, expierience will most certainly not be an issue.

“We’ve got a lot of great players coming back next year, but Sam [Johnson], is the guy, he’s got to be the leader.”

Johnson, a varsity player since his sophomore year, will certainly keep the Bulldogs in good hands.