BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — The Brentwood boys basketball team got a taste this year. Next winter, the Indians are coming for the whole thing.
Brentwood fell to West Genesee, 70-57, in the boys basketball state Class AA championship game at Maines Arena on Saturday evening, but there are many reasons for optimism: The Indians entire starting lineup this year consisted of juniors and sophomores.
“Next year, there’s no room for errors,” said Bryce Harris, who had 19 points and nine rebounds for Brentwood. “We have that burning feeling inside, we’re going to make sure we keep it with us. Next year, we’ll come through, and make sure we can handle business.”
The Indians hope next season will be the year they catch the elusive first state championship in program history. With juniors Kenny Lazo, Romello Wright, Alan Hoston, Harris and sophomore Jordan Riley rounding out the starting lineup, the core of the team will never forget the feeling of walking off the court finishing second.
“It’s going to stick right in our heart,” said Lazo, who had 11 points and five assists. “It’s going to be a grudge we hold for the next season.”
Coach Anthony Jimenez spoke with pride about his team’s season, winning a Long Island Class AA championship and a state semifinal game, finishing the season at 25-3.
“There’s no doubt, we’ll discuss that in time and I think for tonight, I’m just going to let them heal a little bit,” Jimenez said. “But we’re going to talk to them about how we have been an incredibly hard-working program for a very long time. There’s always changes in the program every year, but next year, we are going to be a very seasoned team and I’m going to do all I can to boost their confidence to get them here again.”
And if that means capturing the program’s first state title next season, then maybe it’s worth the wait.
“Sadly, this is not the learning experience I would like,” Harris said. “But I guess if it’s our path, it’s our path.”