The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

February 20, 2013

Jon Gerardi's column on boys basketball: Eagles achieve district goal

As they came out of the locker room at Montoursville High School just minutes after the final buzzer sounded on their 15-point loss to Canton, the Line Mountain players were disappointed and upset to say the least.

For the majority of the squad, it was their first taste of the district playoffs. For the seniors, their last.

The last time the Eagles reached the District 4 tournament was the 2009-10 season, and only three of the starters on this year's team saw time. Cole Rickert, Codi Morris and Billy Breinich combined for just eight points in a first-round win back when they were just freshman.

Those three weren't key contributors on that team. This year, though, it was their team and unfortunately it came to an end Tuesday evening.

The Eagles had a great turnaround, from a dismal 5-16 mark last year to a 13-9 regular season finish.

Standing outside the locker room just off the court, Line Mountain coach Craig Reichard didn't exhibit any emotions as he watched the two teams warming up prior to the tip of the final game of a District 4 playoff tripleheader. Pride and happiness he felt on the inside were more than apparent.

When asked if he was proud of this team, the third-year coach just said "Yeah," nodding his head numerous times as a slight smile started to show.

"Just dedication (this offseason in the gym)," Reichard said about the team's reversal. "The seniors spent a lot of time in the gym this summer. I was very proud about that and they did improve their game. Every one of them."

That gym training that helped the team develop on and off the court.

"It definitely paid off. We spent hours in the gym getting shots up and just coming together as a team and it eventually turned into like we were all a family," senior Breinich said. "Being so connected as a team also helped us clinch a district appearance."

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