CSLA boys wrap up season with tough loss
The C.S. Lewis boys basketball team brought its 2018-2019 season to a close with a 49-39 loss to Perrydale in the Casco League tournament on Saturday. The Watchmen (16-10, 11-5 Casco) dealt with illness throughout their roster that hampered their chances of winning despite a strong effort.
C.S. Lewis began its district tournament run with a 48-39 win over Falls City on Friday — a game it won thanks in large part to quality defense and a commendable effort from its starters, coach Brett Vernon said.
"Even then, we were starting to feel a little sick, but we came out strong against Falls City," Vernon said. "It was 32-12 at half and we took control of the game. We ended up finishing it out, too."
The goal, Vernon said, was to "survive and advance" to a Saturday afternoon matchup with the Pirates, who lost to eventual league Crosshill Christian in their first game. Coming out for that second game in two days was particularly difficult for a C.S. Lewis team that was struggling to stay healthy.
But this time, it wasn't injuries that plagued the Watchmen. It was sickness — and it was widespread from the court to the coaching staff.
"It's not an excuse, but we had six guys plus me sick," Vernon said. "Our kids battled and I've never been more proud of them, but they were not 100 percent by any means. We had kids bedridden for the next two days after that."
Vernon said he doesn't remember much of the game, as he was — like his players — "in a daze" for much of the contest. But he does remember being proud of the effort put forth in a game the Watchmen were not favored to win.
C.S. Lewis cut the Perrydale lead to one in the third quarter before the Pirates put on the clamps defensively and pulled away. The final buzzer of the season sounded with C.S. Lewis losing by 10.
The past few years have been significant for Vernon's team. Two of the four seniors graduating have their names in the record books at C.S. Lewis Academy.
Micah Grobey graduates as the all-time leader in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and free throws, while Jacob McClatchey is the all-time leading shot-blocker. Trevor Ambrose and Aurelio Aquila depart the program as well, leaving current junior Jacob More behind to lead the team next season.
"I thought it was a great season," Vernon said. "I'm so proud of these guys winning 15 games. I've coached some of them since they were in eighth grade and it was incredible to see them turn from boys to young men.
"This senior class has done more for C.S. Lewis than people will ever know. Three seasons of winning 15 or more games, winning a league tournament title and everything else they have achieved – including the school records – that is pretty amazing. This program is in a great spot as it continues to grow."