Independence’s boys’ basketball team closed out the regular season with a 66-55 win over Lincoln West on Thursday.
The win snapped a three-game losing streak and ended a three games in four day stretch for the Blue Devils, who improved to 7-14 on the year.
“It was a great effort considering we played last night as well and it was our third game of the week,” said Independence head coach Hugh McMahon. “Three games in four days, we’re not used to that NBA style schedule and we played good teams in each one. It was great to come out with the win. It was truly a team effort from top to bottom.”
That effort started with the junior varsity team, which also won, and extended all the way up to the coaching staff that includes Chuck Russo, Percy Robinson, Brent Johnson, Anthony Gabriele and Mike Seaman.
“I want to give our kids for keep their own morale up in the toughest part of our schedule. We got better as each game went on and we just faced some really good and talented teams,” McMahon said. “I think that paid off tonight, not only on the varsity level but the JVs won tonight as well. I thought it was a really good effort from the entire program. We had a great game plan and that’s a tribute to the staff.”
Daniel Mathews led the charge for the Blue Devils with a 22-point effort. Mario Figliola and Kyle Stefanski also scored in double figures with 16 and 15, respectively. Several others turned in strong performances on the defensive end of the court.
“Daniel Mathews shot the ball really well tonight. Kyle Stefanski was aggressive offensively and Mario Figliola was aggressive offensively,” McMahon said. “We’re always challenged on the defensive end. I thought everybody really stepped up and limited their size advantage. Nick Brunsman played well on the defensive end and Ryan Dworznik contributed as well as Bobby Roddy.”
Though wins were hard to come by, McMahon is proud of the way his young team matured over the course of the season and he’s excited for Tuesday’s sectional semifinal at Lutheran West.
“Considering we had one returning starter and a very young team, and only one senior, I think we really, really had matured and developed as the season went on,” he said. “We’re playing our best basketball at this point in time.”