Doug Delivers: GFA boys basketball checks off one goal, looks to achieve another
Updated 7:51 pm, Wednesday, February 27, 2013
The Dragons had never won a title. Not one.
The program's fortunes changed drastically, however, last Saturday when its most dominant player propelled GFA to its first league crown with a 67-42 rout of Brunswick.
Senior Sean Obi fit the mold as a game-changer -- putting up 24 points and 12 rebounds -- and afterward, shared a moment with the trophy before snipping off a piece of the net.
The Rice University-bound center called the win a "dream come true," but subtly noted that there's still more to accomplish this winter.
"It's not done," Obi said.
With a league championship that will go down in program lore, the Dragons are determined to cap their season with an even greater prize -- a New England championship. That's when, Obi believes, the Dragons' season will really be complete.
"It's a relief, actually. But not completely a relief," Obi said of winning the FAA. "If win we New Englands, then it's completely a relief. Right now, it's 50 percent done."
GFA will begin its quest for another title on Wednesday in the Class C quarterfinals against Lexington Christian (Mass.) in Simsbury. The Dragons, 21-2 on the year, are the top seed.
Winners of 15 straight dating back to Jan. 10 -- a 65-57 loss to King -- the Dragons are playing at possibly their highest level this season, carrying all the momentum.
A win would give GFA a home game for the semifinals on Friday. The championship game is scheduled for Sunday at Worcester Academy in Massachusetts.
So far, the Dragons have been mighty difficult to stop, regardless of on whom opponents choose to key.
"Last year we were a team that could slow it down and put the ball inside, in the basket," senior guard Hunter Eggers said. "This year we can do both."
In the FAA final, the Dragons pushed the ball inside to Obi in the first half and watched the 6-foot-9 center roll off 17 points. When Brunswick -- trailing 32-26 at halftime -- started to creep inside and clog up the passing lanes, the Dragons struck from around the perimeter.
Obi was limited to just two field goals in the second half, but the Dragons scored at will and later pushed their lead to 28 points. Eggers finished the night with 13 points, forward Pat Ryan had 10 points and guard Matt Tate scored nine.
"This is unbelievable. It's great," Eggers said. "This was our goal all season. This is what I wanted to do, this is really what it was for."
The offensive output was rather emblematic of the run that GFA put together this year, in what's turned into a dream season. The Dragons, averaging just under 73 points per game this year, have won their last 13 games by double-digits. They've been held under 50 points just once, way back on Dec. 15 in a 71-49 loss to Beaver Country Day School.
On Saturday, the Dragons checked one goal off their list. They're now hoping to do another.
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