Repeating as champions is hard enough, especially with one of the youngest teams in the league.
The Lutheran School of Flushing & Bayside lost to Our Savior Lutheran (OSL) 22-13 at Martin Luther King High School in Maspeth on Saturday, March 6.
Having won their school’s first championship in 20 years last season, the Tigers were posed to repeat when they ran into a bigger, more experienced Falcon team.
“We decided to play a zone defense because of their size,” said Tigers’ coach Nicholas Singh. “We held them to only 22 points, but we just could not score. The ball would not drop for us.”
While proud of his team’s defensive effort, Singh said his team’s undoing was their inability to nail crucial free throws throughout the game. This allowed the Falcons to pull away while the Tigers lay dormant.
Singh’s Tigers managed only three points by halftime and were held scoreless in the third quarter. The Tigers finally found their game in the fourth, outscoring the Falcons 9-7, in final quarter. But it proved too late, as OSL held on for the victory.
“This was not the day to go against what we had been doing right all season,” said Singh. “If we are going to lose, we have to lose playing our style, but we changed it up and it cost us.”
The Tigers finished the season with an 8-2 mark and a loss in the championship game. While disappointed with the loss, Singh said he was still satisfied with how the season unfolded.
“Most of our team from last year graduated. This season just about amounted to a rebuilding year and we still made it to the finals. This was a second place finish that no one saw coming,” he said. “But I have to say that all of the credit in the world goes to the other team. They finished the job.”
Singh hopes his younger players who will remain with the team going into next season will remember and learn from a loss in the championship game. He is already looking forward to getting back next season and competing with an even hungrier team.
“I am disappointed by the loss, but proud of taking an extremely young team to a championship game and a first place conference title,” he said. “Training camp begins October 1, and I expect them to be ready.”