Pike Liberal Arts hosts Hooper tonight for “Senior Night”

Published 10:48 pm Thursday, January 24, 2013

For years the handful of seniors on the Pike Liberal Arts basketball team have wowed the home gym crowd.

Tonight they will suit up in red, white and blue for the final time in the friendly confines of their home gym.

“For most seniors, they get to a night like tonight, and say ‘Oh my gosh, this is it’,” said Pike Liberal Arts Head Coach Craig Kennedy.

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“You hope they go out with a bang, being a good player and being a good teammate. I think that these kids will do just that.”

The boys team only has one senior on the roster, post-player Russ Thomas.

Thomas doesn’t rack up points, but Kennedy said he provides a lot of help against the bigger teams with his rebounding ability.

“Russ isn’t really a shooter,” said Kennedy. “He is a great rebounder. We have let him step out on the perimeter some and shoot the three. It has paid off for us sometimes.”

The Patriot girls team has just two seniors, Kori Chirico and Josie Free.

Kennedy said that he has pushed the two low-post players to not be afraid of handling the basketball.

“We want our kids to do it all,” said Kennedy. “At the start of the season, Kori couldn’t dribble, and now she is wanting to push the ball up the floor. The improvement she has made is awesome to see.”

Free, a bench player for the majority of the season, is one of the “smartest players” on the team said Kennedy.

“I wish Josie was a 6’2 posr, and not 5’2,” said Kennedy. “She is so smart with the ball, but her height keeps here from being able to dominate down there.”

Kennedy hopes the three players enjoyed their experience.

“We want them to look back and enjoy their time playing,” said Kennedy. “That’s what is all about. At the end of the day only one team can win, but everyone can compete.

Pike hosts Hooper Academy Friday at 4:30 p.m.