Basketball Tournament Held at BCECHS

Aiden Casey, 10th Grade, BCECHS

The Brunswick County Early College Firebirds recently competed in a basketball tournament April 1 in the Dinah E. Gore Fitness and Aquatics center. After months of preparation, the Firebirds competed among five other teams in an intense double elimination style tournament. The whole experience was action packed as the Firebirds gave it their all in order to win. Although the team came up short, they came in a close second. 

The Firebirds, hosting the tournament, did not play in the first round. The team watched as the others battled it out for the second round. In the second round, the Firebirds battled Wilmington Early College. Wilmington was a tough opponent at first and the Firebirds came short of the win, putting them in the loser’s bracket. The Firebirds were not particularly ecstatic about this first game loss. However, rallying, they decided this loss wasn’t going to be a disadvantage, but a sudden boost of determination. 

With this new-found determination and grit, the Firebirds faced off against Columbus Early College in the third round. Overall, the Firebirds dominated Columbus, coming out with an easy victory. This victory felt like a huge relief because now every game the Firebirds played in the future could be their last. 

In the fourth round, the Firebirds, fresh off of a win, competed against the Bladen Early College. Bladen proved to be a tough opponent but, with a close win, the Firebirds were able to prevail and win that game as well. Now going into the fifth round, the Firebirds were feeling extremely confident again. The Firebirds had to play the team they previously had lost to, Wilmington Early College. 

Sophomore Forward Mack Hewett stated, “Going into that game I was positive the outcome would be different from the first time.”  Hewett could not have been any more correct. The Firebirds took the victory pushing them to the finals! 

This win was already a great feat going from a first round loss all the way to the championship, but the Firebirds still had unfinished business. The Firebirds were in the championship game against the undefeated Early College East. The Firebirds used all the faith, determination, and strength that they had to try and win this game. They gave it their all but came up only seven points short. That game meant very much to the Firebirds; it was a defeat and they felt crushed. It felt as if all the time, blood, and sweat put into our game fell short. 

After the tournament, Sophomore Guard, Bryan Barahona, had some words of encouragement for the team, “Great effort you guys, y’all did great!” Although the fresh loss of the tournament stung, it felt great for one of the players to say such kind things. 

The Firebirds are not done yet. They are now more determined than ever to win that trophy back. The team as a whole has reflected upon what we could have done differently and what will have to change for the next tournament. The Firebirds have now realized that they still did amazing things in that tournament. It’s not always about winning, it was an overall great learning experience for the team. Hopefully next time the trophy will be coming home to the Firebirds!