"Success Happens When Preparation Meets Opportunity"
The 2013-2014 Lumberjack basketball season has provided our TEAM and supporters with many memorable moments, but also several instances of heartache. WE have shown signs of resiliency in the face of adversity as well as are youth when the game is on the line. As a group WE must continue to grow and mature as stakes increase game by game. At this point in the season teams across the country have competed in their final game, and begun to look forward to next year. Believe it or not several teams who are still lucky enough to be alive wouldn't mind taking a loss, and calling it a season.
Our TEAM is focused on embracing each moment, each practice, each opportunity to have one more day together. Drills stay the same, I still yell when WE don't get it right, and players continue to have good days and not so good days. WE can not control who WE play, when WE play, or where WE play but WE are in control of our preparation. Mental toughness plays a much larger part role in the days leading up to this important game than physical output. I believe our TEAM is going to play hard, because WE understand that is the only way to win. More importantly WE must retain a level of mental focus superior to that of our opponent in order to be successful. Discipline, execution, and energy will be the three most important factors on Sunday when we compete against Central Community College (22-9) out of Columbus, NE.
Tomorrow WE will depart for Nebraska as WE continue our journey TOGETHER. There is no doubt success will only be attainable by way of a tremendous collective effort. Individually WE must discipline ourselves in order to reach new heights and collectively WE must work TOGETHER as a FAMILY. Regardless of the outcome I can assure you nothing has been given to this group. WE are a unique collection of random pieces found from far and wide with only one variable considered common. Each and every one of these Jack Boyz, including myself were seemingly forced to take a risk at Dakota College because everybody else counted us out. WE were not talented enough, big enough, strong enough, or smart enough for others to believe our presence was necessary. This weekend WE strive to reach unforeseen destinations, challenge basketball stereotypes, and leave a legacy to be remembered.
ROAD TO Central Community College:
This past Sunday the Lumberjack TEAM squared off with Gogebic CC for the Region XIII Title. In the early going it appeared DCB would take control and cruise to the next round with a 24-13 lead 10 minutes into the game. At half-time the lead would drop to 9, but it was clear Gogebic was not going away and their game plan was to "fire away" from beyond the arc going 9-25 in the first half. The second half would be much more interesting with GCC taking a lead with 8 minutes to go. Julian Vasquez would have to watch the lead slip away from the bench with 4 fouls majority of the half.
With only 5 minutes to go and the Jacks trailing by six points, Vasquez would enter the game and immediately make his impact felt. Vasquez rattled off 11 straight points to tie the game at 85-85 with 38 seconds to play and Dakota College ball. Out of a timeout, WE were able to get Vasquez the ball and allow him the freedom to make a play. As the shot clock was expiring he would penetrate baseline and deliver an exceptional bounce pass to the corner where the pass would find Xavier Cruz. Cruz would knock down the corner 3 with just over 7 seconds to play. This would turn out to be the final play due to a turnover caused by Cruz to end the game as well.
The final score would be 88-85 as the Lumberjack TEAM captured the Region XIII Title for the 1st time since 1990. Julian Vasquez would receive Region XIII MVP honors to go along with 1st Team All-Region. Jalyn Turner would also be acknowledged for his successful freshman year by receiving All-Region as well.
Vasquez - 26 points, 3 assists
Billy Engel - 15 points (3/3 from 3FG), 3 assists
Cruz - Game Winning 3FG with :7 to play
Sunday at 1pm the Dakota College Lumberjacks will face Central Community College in Columbus, NE. The game will be livestreamed allowing all supporters to catch the action.
Thank you to all who have been outstanding in your support.
Get Jacked UP,