The High School Redeem Team
In 2006, the United States sent a "Redeem Team" to the World Basketball Championships, to redeem a poor effort that happened in 2002. In 2002, a lethargic team offered a lethargic performance, and was knocked out in the quarterfinals of the W-B-C that year. The Redeem Team re-established American dominance of basketball.
We had a similar story in the recently-completed IHSAA basketball state finals. In 2A, the Linton Miners did some redeeming themselves. Linton has always been a football town-- with the center of the town's affection centering on Roy Williams Field. But for a magical four-week run, LInton fans forgot football, and centered their affection on the basketball court.
Where does the Redeem Team come in? Simply put, Linton fans have had great hopes dashed in football year after year. They have come close to a football state final three separate times-- a blocked extra point in double overtime in 2004, a lost 14 point 4th quarter lead in 2010, and a loss in a tight game last fall, in 2012. All happened in the Semi-State, or Final 4, round of the Class A football playoff. But this team redeemed the close calls on grass with an inspired four weeks on wood.
It all started with a loss against Clay City-- only one of four they would suffer. The loss at Clay City abruptly ended a series of mediocre wins in January. What happened? The Miners woke up-- they played to their talent level, and reached their potential. That potential was on display throughout the tournament-- in the Sectional, Regional, and Semi-State rounds. In the state championship, they lost to a Bowman Academy team who was slightly better. No shame there.
The Linton "Redeem Team." Four weeks of inspired tournament play on wood redeemed three Semi-State disappointments on grass. That is the legacy of Austin Karaszia, Dess Fougerousse and Company-- call them "The Basketball Redeemers."
That's my take... I'm Tom Lee.
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