JV Rams and JV Lady Rams attain undefeated season

Kaylee Lemons , Sports Editor

Often hidden in the shadows under the varsity Rams glory stand the JV Rams basketball teams, who deserve recognition of their own after a triumphant season. Both the JV Rams and JV Lady Rams finished the season bearing the title of undefeated.

MV’s JV boys team ended their season 14-0, following a 69-42 victory against Cahokia on February 22. Although a 27 point win sealed their perfect record, there were many other great games throughout the season. The Rams finished every game with a lead of at least 15 points.

“The best game JV played this season in my opinion was the very first game of the season [against] Marion. We played that game and it gave us the start to the season that we needed,” said Adam Ackley, ‘20.

“Although we had many great games, I would say our biggest win was against Althoff at their place. They played a lot of juniors down that game and our team stepped up to the competition and played some great basketball,” recounted Tyler Lyday, ‘21.

“Our best JV game I’d say was Mt. Vernon at Althoff Crusaders. [It was a] very intense game [and] you had to stay focused,” said Evan Leake, ‘21.

The team possesses various strengths that they believe allowed them to achieve an undefeated season.

“Determination and unselfishness in my opinion allowed us to achieved our record,” said Lyday. “Coming off of an 18-1 freshman season we felt we deserved a perfect record so that’s what we worked for.”

“Our team has multiple strengths but I would say our most noticed was our size and skill set along with the ability to score the basketball at any spot on the floor,” added Lyday.

“Our team strength was unselfishness. Coach Boldt told us every game that people loved to watch us play because of how we moved the ball and worked together. There’s one ball and ten elite players on our team. We had to make it work,” stated Dylan Harkins, ‘21.

“I feel like we achieved this because we trust each other with the ball, we play together, and we’re all good friends. If there isn’t chemistry then you won’t have a good team,” said Donye Johnson, ‘21.

The Rams’ record represents perfection, but the players know there is always room for improvement.

“Our weakness is basically experience. We have the talent, speed, strength, and the height. [We] just got to keep going,” emphasized Leake.

“[A weakness of ours] would be defensive consistency. We would have times where we wouldn’t give even a look towards our basket and others where we allow an easy backdoor cut,” said Lyday.

“Our weaknesses to improve on would be toughness. We had such an easy season that we forgot what it’s like to have our back against the wall. Next year we will come out the gates with the same intensity we would have in overtime,” said Harkins.

Alongside the Rams, the Lady Rams finished the season with a 17-0 record.

From strengths to weaknesses, each player has their personal thoughts on what determined the outcome of their season.

“We played so well together as a team and we all got along very well. I think we played well in pretty much every game we played this season,” said Kennedy Hayes, ‘22.

“Our teams strength this year was definitely the connection we all had , if we weren’t comfortable and so close with each other this season wouldn’t have been the way it was. We were very strong with the ball and our defense was very strong also,” said Ashtyn Morgan, ‘21.

“The weakness we need to work on is being able to move the ball fast and run through our plays without confusion,” added Morgan.

“[We achieved a great season] by working together and worrying about getting better each game and not focusing on the bad ones,” said Ashlyn Conner, ‘21.

Their hard work during practices resulted in many great games throughout the season.

“Our best game yet would probably have been the game against Carterville at home , we put everything into it to win that one and fought so hard,” recounted Morgan.

“[Our best game] would definitely have to be the away Centralia game because it’s always fun to be being playing against your biggest rival,” expressed Conner.

MV’s JV players are proud of each other and their teams’ accomplishments. The teams enjoyed the 2018-2019 season and are looking forward to being apart of MV basketball in future years.

“I feel like it was very deserving being apart of an undefeated JV team. We have been working hard all season and all of us had the same goal going into each game,” said Lyday.

“It’s always fun to be on a winning team, and being apart of a undefeated team at any level is a big accomplishment,” said Conner.

“Being apart of this undefeated JV team was the best feeling. Being able to work with these teammates during practice and putting everything on the court was a show. We hope to keep our family together as we move to bigger things,” said Morgan.

“The JV season was amazing. It was a blast to be apart of something so special with my guys,” expressed Harkins. “We provided a buzz around the town that will continue to grow locally or even statewide as we get older. 2021 has next!”