First Round Playoff Loss Ends Season for Boys Varsity Team

Grace Lady, Staff Writer

They watched from the corners of their eyes as the buzzer wound down. Down five points. Down for the last time this season. Down for the last time in their careers.

The Varsity Boys’ loss to Irmo High School (52-47) in the playoffs on Feb. 15 marked the end of not only a winning season, but five basketball careers. The Warriors finished with a 13-12 record, which was a huge improvement from last year, totalling only eight wins.

“I think it was a big step forward for the program because we went into the new super region with eight teams and a lot of tough competition,” senior center Joe Lassiter said.

Lassiter is one of five seniors on the team this year, none of which have officially committed to playing basketball next year in college. Senior point guard Aaron Randle is still in conversation with schools.

“I’m still deciding on whether or not I am. There’s two schools, one in North Carolina and one in Michigan, which I probably won’t want to go there because it’s way too cold and too far up there,” Randle said with a laugh.

Lassiter and Randle have both been involved since they were young because of their father’s passion for the sport and collegiate basketball experience, making the season even more bittersweet.

“It was just a really great time to be able to grow up with all those people. I’d be a lot different [without basketball] because it teaches you to fight adversity and work through anything,” Lassiter said.

Head Coach Chris Warzynski attributed many of the strides made this season to the senior leadership from the class of 2017.

“All the seniors, what they have done from last year to this year and the improvement we’ve had, that’s going to mean a lot for where I want to take this program and how the rest of the players have to see how hard it is to get there,” Warzynski said.

Warzynski hopes to carry the strengths of this year’s team into next year, as well as work on some of the team’s weaknesses.

“A lot of times teams average 65 or 70 points a game, but they score 45 against us. We were really good defensively. I think we’re a smart team,” Warzynski said. “There’s a couple teams who kind of got us using their strength inside and kind of pushed us around. That’s definitely something we’ve got to work at next year.”

Some teams in the region, notably the region champions Goose Creek, had large senior classes this year, adding to the difficulty of the 7AAAAA region. Warzynksi has high hopes for next season, considering the momentum from this season combined with a large class of 2018.

“I’m looking for these guys to step up next year, be my seniors to lead the team, and hopefully win a region championship,” Warzynksi said.