Deer Park basketball seasons end in regional round of state tournament

Michael Brock

Both Deer Park boys and girls basketball seasons ended with losses in the regional round of the state tournament last weekend.

The boys (#11 seed) lost 62–44 to the King’s Knights (#14) on Friday and the girls (#13) fell 39–38 to the Elma Eagles (#12) on Saturday. This was the first year that both Stag basketball teams made state in the same season.

Boys: King’s 62, Deer Park 44
Deer Park boys led 6–5 early, but an 8–2 spurt by the Knights gave King’s a 13–8 advantage after the first quarter. The Stags wouldn’t go ahead again for the rest of the game. The second quarter was largely back-and-forth, with King’s holding a 26–19 lead at halftime. Deer Park got as close as six on multiple occasions in the third quarter and cut it to 10 with two minutes remaining in the game, but every time the Stags drew near, King’s would score or steal a

“You never question the heart in this group and their ability to come back and compete,” head coach Chad Hand said following the loss.

Three seniors scored in double figures for the Stags, who finished the season with a 16–7 record: Hunter Dryden (11 points), Jake Black (10) and Jobi Gelder (10). Sophomore Tyler Linhardt paced three Knights in double figures with 20 points.

Girls: Elma 39, Deer Park 38
An 11–2 run in the third quarter—capped off by a triple from junior Taylor Lyons—gave Deer Park a 29–28 lead with 2:40 remaining in the period. From there, the teams largely traded
buckets until Lyons was fouled with the score 38–36 in favor of the Eagles. After
making both, she knotted the game up with 1:30 left.

Elma senior Jillian Bieker stole the ball with 1:13 remaining and was fouled. Bieker made one of two. After an empty possession, a steal and a missed shot for Deer Park, the Eagles had the
ball up one with less than a minute to go.

The Stags forced a jump ball with 18.1 seconds left and seven ticks on the shot clock, and were eventually able to get the ball back on a shot clock violation with 11.1.

On the ensuing possession, senior Hava Fairbanks drove to the basket and slipped when she planted in the lane. Fairbanks was called for a traveling violation with 5.6 ticks left. Only having five team fouls at the time, the Stags weren’t able to get another shot off after trying to extend the game by putting the Eagles on the free throw line.

Lyons scored 17 points on four three-pointers, Fairbanks had nine and freshman Darian Herring added six. Senior Jalyn Sackrider led the Eagles with 13 points;
senior Kali Rambo added 10.