Boys basketball caps incredible season with final four playoff run

Photo+of+the+team+from+their+senior+night+on+January+28th

Photo of the team from their senior night on January 28th

Matt Trujilo, Sports Editor

The boy’s basketball team had an incredible season finishing with a 22-8 record, and making it to the final four in the GHSA 1A Private state playoffs. 

Anybody who has gone to a game can tell you that no matter how far down or much they were down, this team never backed down when the odds were stacked against them. This attitude served them well during their deep postseason run. 

Much can be attributed to first-year head coach Matt Hixenbaugh, also Upper School Dean of Students. Hixenbaugh added things like yoga and a statistics analyzer to the program—just extra things that go to show how much he cares for his players. 

The team made it to the championship of the region tournament and to the final four of the state tournament, which both ended in losses to the defending 1A Private state champions, St. Francis. 

The loss marked the second consecutive season the Patriots have been knocked out by a team that then advanced to the championship game—last season falling to the eventual state runner-up, ELCA, in the second round.

Senior Chandler Minton (44) at Whitefield game earlier in the season

On Wednesday, February 26th, the boy’s basketball team beat the Walker School in an Elite Eight game in overtime after a crazy fourth quarter battle that led to the Patriots winning 71-62  with strong performances from all the players.

Against Walker, the Patriots overcame a 57–52 deficit with 2:57 remaining in the fourth quarter. But they weren’t done yet.

With 51 seconds remaining, junior JoJo Peterson—assisted by junior Nate Gordon—hit a game-tying 3-pointer. The goal would represent the final points of regulation.

The Patriots went on to cruise to a quarter-final victory, outscoring the Wolverines 14–5 in overtime.

They later went on to face St.Francis in the semi-finals at the Centennial Center on Georgia College’s campus in Milledgeville, GA.

Located two hours from Johns Creek, the final four location resulted in an early release for the entire Upper School, and a “spirit bus” packed with 68 students and faculty who were eager to cheer on their team. 

In the end, the boys put up a good fight but lost 63–58, ending a long and hard-fought season. 

Even with the key loss of senior Chandler Minton, the Patriots look to the future and see themselves as major contenders to win the State Championship, returning almost the entire team next season. 

With this season’s performance, they have proved that they can compete with one of the best teams in the state. 

For the talent on the team and how much that has already been achieved in Hixenbaugh’s first year, the Patriots completed an excellent season. The team has all the necessary pieces to be state champions.

The future looks bright for the boy’s basketball team.