End of the Road


Graphic by Ella Ermshler

The H-F boys and girls basketball teams played 12 and nine regular games respectively, but their seasons ended as there was no postseason.

Jotham Israel, Sports Editor

As short as it felt, basketball season at H-F is over.

IHSA basketball seasons typically start in November, but they were postponed and pushed back into February due to the coronavirus pandemic.

After ending last season with a loss to Thornton in the sectional semifinals, the boys team finished this season with eight wins and four losses. It was a winning season, but unfortunately for the Vikings, there was no chance to make a deep postseason run. After the Senior-Night loss to Bolingbrook on March 12, the season was over.

Out of the 16 players on the team, eight of them were seniors. For head coach Marc Condotti, the 12-game season provided him a chance to see what he could get out of some of the players that are set to return for the 2021-22 season.

“I feel like these guys have waited their turn, they’ve done things the right way all the way through it, and now they’re going to reap the benefits of it,” Condotti said. “It’s a change over every year. As long as the guys are doing things the right way, practicing and earning their reps, usually things turn over pretty smoothly.”

In a time that is likely stressful for high school student athletes, effort and energy could easily be thrown out of the window. For basketball players, there were no regionals, sectionals or state championships to be in pursuit of and a season that usually spans five months turned into one month and some change. However, the diminished schedule didn’t diminish Condotti’s dedication to coaching basketball.

“There are going to be teams this year that see a shortened schedule, no regionals, no sectionals, and they’re going to go out there and act like there are no regionals or sectionals. The idea is to approach it like you would any other game,” Condotti said. “When you look back, you have to be able to see that you did more than just win or lose a game. You guys got together and did something as a group.”

As Condotti and the Vikings head into the off-season, they will once again have holes to fill due to half of the team graduating, but players like forwards Wesley Rubin, Christian Meeks and Miles Rubin will likely give the team a boost in production and experience.

Like their counterparts, the H-F girls basketball team also returned to the hardwood after making a run to the super-sectionals in 2019-20, and the hardwood felt like home for head coach Anthony Smith.

“It’s always great being back on the court. This is where we belong right here. Just being out here feels good, even though it’s short. This makes the day go by. This makes the life feel life-like,” Smith said.

The girls team underwent a major team overhaul as sophomore Alyssa Latham was the only varsity player from last year’s sectional championship team to return in 2020-21. Savannah Scott was also the only senior on the team, so the team was filled with younger players.

With six sophomores and four juniors on his new-look team, Smith had a lot to unravel about his squad. One of the main traits he saw within the players was their dedication to the game.

“I learned that they’re fighters. They’re going to come out and play hard, and as a coach, that’s all you can ask for. This was a wacky season because it was like a 90 percent chance that we weren’t going to play, so we let the kids go,” Smith said. “Then all of a sudden I get a phone call saying that we are playing, have a tryout and we’ll be playing in a week. You want a group of girls that want to be here, work hard, have fun and compete.”

The girls team finished with a 6-3 record in their nine-game season that ended on a high note with a 53-49 win over Bolingbrook last Thursday.

Both of H-F’s basketball teams have had consistent success year in and year out. Even without a postseason, the 2020-21 season may prove to be a major step in developing this year’s young and talented players and piecing together the next great Vikings basketball teams in the near future.