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Taylorville Tornado Seniors shine on Tuesday Night

Lucas Domonousky Breeze-Courier

Sports Editor TAYLORVILLE — 2022 THS

Boys Basketball Senior Night.

How special could it be?

The Taylorville boys basketball team celebrated their Senior Night by hosting Auburn on Tuesday. The Tornadoes held the Trojans 20 points under their season average of 60+. They defeated their opponent and secured a win for the remarkable contest and one soon to not be forgotten.

After the JV defeated their Trojan foe, 57-50, each senior from the Dance, Cheer and Basketball team were honored. All the upperclassman were acknowledged for the hard work each has put in all year long.

How could it get more special?

When the Tornado lineup was being announced each players corresponding mom stood awaiting their boy.

When they took the court the emotions settled, a tad bit, it was time to clock in and get to work.

Bryce Friedrich won the tip- off and passed to teammate Kamren Heimsness to score off the rip. The senior to senior connection continued throughout the entirety of the match as Heimsness finished with 9 points, 9 rebounds and several assists. Senior Ryan “RJ” Johnson, a Purple Reign fan favorite, got to the rack ASAP with a clean lay-up. He finished his Senior Night with 2 points and a rebound. Dylan Brown, the silent, special and important piece to this Tornado Varsity team added his defensive abilities along with his infectious energy.

Even though it happened to be the seniors special night this fact only drove the underclassman perform at the top of their game. Every time the momentum would begin to swing in Auburn’s favor the Tornadoes would bring it right on back. The Trojans would hit a deep three-pointer? Junior Will Bitschenauer would hit back to back shots from beyond. Freshman Drake Howard displayed his talent right alongside his teammates and junior Will Turvey splashed a late game three right in the Trojan defenders face. The three sharpshooters combined for 5 three-pointers culminating to 18 points total.

How could it get more special?

Seniors Luke Markwell and Bryce Friedrich both had career defining games but in polar opposite ways.

Bryce Friedrich had a career high in points against the Auburn Trojans. The Tornadoes were feeding him from every corner. He finished with a freakishly impressive 28 and 14 double-double (points- rebounds).

“No better night than Senior Night.” said the Tornado Big Man.

While Friedrich was scoring from every corner of the court teammate Luke Markwell was covering every corner.

After an iconic Two-Way performance Markwell was given the compliment of his career from his Head Coach Ryan Brown.

“Luke Markwell is the best defender I’ve ever coached.”

When asked what that meant to him the Taylorville guard felt honored.

“Ive worked really hard for that.” Markwell stated. “It means so much for my coach to say that because that is

whoIhaveformedtobeasa defensive player.”

He finished with 9 points, 6 boards and, of course, some decent defense.

How could it get more special?

With just under two minutes to go in the game, all seniors checked in with the score comfortably in the Tornadoes favor. Just as it seemed they were going to ride out until the final buzzer they started being substituted. One by one each senior was called to the bench while the entire gym gave a standing ovation. It was a touching moment for everyone who was apart of this beautiful night.

“Great leaders. They just keep you accountable” Drake Howard states giving his unique outsiders perspective on the five seniors. “It’s been a fun ride. I’ll never forget it.”

“On and off the court our bond is insane.” Friedrich stated.

“We call it a brotherhood.” commented Markwell. The five seniors have a brothery bond not many people, let alone Varsity basketball teams, get in their lifetime.

“It’s easy to dive on the floor and work hard in practice when you really love the guys you’re in the gym with every single day.” Commented Head Boys Basketball Coach Ryan Brown on the special bond this group of young men share.

The Tornadoes get the job done against the Auburn Trojans on this extraordinary night, 67-48 the final.

It can’t possibly get much more special than that.

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