Warriors take pride in 20-win season

West Side Christian’s boys’ basketball season ended on Monday in the first round of the Heartland Christian Athletic Association Division II Tournament in Shawnee, Okla. The Warriors fell to Trinity Christian 79-75, ending their season with a 20-8 record.

West Side coach Randall Miller said goodbye to five seniors -  Elijah Narciso, Gavin Murphy, Sam Hay, Braeden Pitard and Sam Wooten.

“I’m really really proud of the season they had,” said Miller. “I loved coaching that group. They work really hard. They’re very coachable. They love coming to the gym. Sometimes in January, those practices can drag a little bit. I did not experience that with this group the last couple of years at all. They bring energy to every practice and I don’t have to try to kick start them at all. They just bring the energy and they love being in there.”

Nathan Pearson scored 28 points, hitting seven 3-pointers against Trinity Christian. Pearson’s 4-point play cut the deficit to three with 16.3 seconds left. Trinity Christian would hit a free throw with 8 seconds left to seal the victory.

Cayson Martin added 13, Elijah Narciso 12 and Stephen Spencer 11 for the Warriors.

“They outshot us by about 20 at the line 27-7, which hurt. We thought we could get inside and get to the line. We just didn’t go very many times,” said Miller. “We were trying to run them off the 3-point line. Their big hurt us inside. We did not probably do as good of a job as we needed to do running them off. They still hit six 3-pointers. They can put up a lot of points. That area there, not being able to run them off the 3-point line, hurt us a little bit. They did shoot a ton of free throws.”

Despite the loss, Miller looked back fondly at the season.

“As far as the season overall, I’m pleased with how they did. We talked about needing to play a different way in order to get a couple of our guys open. We definitely accomplished that,” he said. “Elijah really kind of exploded in that role, pushing the pace and getting to the rim and scoring. That’s something that was new for him this year. In a lot of those ways and things we wanted to do, I’m pleased - 20-8 was the overall record. Twenty wins against the schedule we play is a really good season.

“I thought the state tournament for us, we were one of about six teams that had a legitimate chance and they were all pretty evenly matched. We knew it would be tough to get three of those in a row unless we played really, really well. And I thought we played well. We just had a few too many errors to be able to get it done.”

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