FIRST ROW: Waylon Wojtowicz, Rebecca Wojtowicz, Coach Shane McGranahan, Caleb Unverfehrt, Jack Kroeger, Lucas Wojtowicz, Dillon Teter, Savana Meyer. SECOND ROW: Devin Schill, Tyler Schill, Boomer Harris, Mason Meyer, Ashton McGranahan, Coach Jim McGranahan, Stephanie Kroeger, Lori Unverfehrt and Jim Unverfehrt. THIRD ROW: Connie Zapp, Jesse Wojotowicz, Rich Wojotowicz, Tim Haggerty, Peggy Haggerty, Chad Schill, Tricia Schill, Sarah Bartling, Nathan Harris, Jackie Bening, Stephanie Meyer, Jack Kroeger and Lisa Teter.
By Jim McGranahan
The Weekend of March 3rd-5th the Lutheran Sports Association State Basketball tournament was held in Chicago. There are over 200 Lutheran schools in Illinois and only the top 16 teams qualify for the tournament. The Titans qualified with a record of 11-1 against Lutheran schools south of Effingham and placing first in the all Lutheran tournament in Steeleville combined with their overall excellent win-loss record and by winning the play in game against Chester.
The past two years the Titans have qualified for state. Over these two appearances the Titans have lost their first two games each year. The four losses were a combined 7 points! Two of the games were by one point, one game by two points and the fourth game by three. Obviously they have been very competitive. With a little luck and one more made basket or one more rebound or one more seal or one less turnover and the Titans could have been in the final four both years.
In their March 3 against Arlington Heights the final score was 30-29 loss. They had about a 16 foot baseline shot to win but it was a little long. Scoring was Mason Meyer 16, Caleb Unverfehrt 6, Boomer Harris 4 and Tyler Schill 3. On Saturday, March 4th they lost 38-35 having a three point shot to tie as time ran out against Trinity Centralia. Mason Meyer had 11 points, Caleb Unverfehrt, Tyler Schill and Boomer Harris each had 8. Ashton McGranahan did not score but was a part of the Fab Five as the coaches nicknamed them as they played 100% of the minutes in most games.
The Titans ended the regular season with a 24-5 record. Playing in Lutheran school tournaments the months of Feb-March in Peoria, Springfield and Chicago against some larger schools they went 3-6 finishing with an overall record of 27-11. It was a very successful season for the players, coaches parents and fans. The players improved a ton over the past two years and should hold their heads high for their accomplishments.
I have coached the TSJ/ILS Titans boys the past two years with my son Shane. It has been a joyous experience as we both share a passion for the game of basketball and love working with kids. We appreciated the opportunity given to us by the two schools and thank them both especially the respective AD’s. Also a thank you to all the parents for their volunteer work; selling tickets, concessions, running the game clock and keeping the book. Biggest thank you’s go to Lori Unverfehrt, she was the team general manager, enabling us to just coach. By taking care of paper work stuff, emailing, hotel room reservations, etc.
We had a great bunch of players and parents and will share many fond life -long memories. It became one big family affair for boys, parents and coaches.