The Lady Oilers fell to East Marion in the first round 60-36 in the 2A state playoffs, and Thursday night, the Heidelberg men's team were thumped in round two by Newton 83-46.
After multiple quarantines and dealing with virtual learning that led to multiple players being ineligible to finish the season, adversity became the norm for head coach Billy Wright. "It was a fun year, but it was tough. The community stuck together. It's always based on family. We have a lot of new kids that need to learn those core values of not quitting," he commented about the long season.
Wright was proud of his teams and his seniors, especially Donavan Parker who came off a career-high 50 points in the first round. He said, "Parker gave it all he had. He's the only senior that has been in our system with me the whole time. He has a fight in him. We have seniors ineligible and some that are just playing for the first time."
It was a tough night in Newton for Parker and the Oilers. He only had 12 points and fouled out in the third quarter. Sophomore Laffette Shelby led Heidelberg with 20 points.
The men in stripes were tough on the visitors. The Oilers shot their first free throw with 3:20 left in the half, along with two of their senior leaders fouled before the end of the third.
Wright did not make excuses and made his frustrations clear saying, "Coach Wright basketball is, 'we are gonna play defense and never quit.' I saw some players quit tonight and that hurt me."
Along with Parker, Wright bragged on another young sophomore, "One person that ain't gonna quit is our smallest person on the floor, JaBaris Arrington. If all these new guys can come in and look at him and learn to play with no quit, we will be alright next year."
Hopefully, with Covid-19 vaccines coming along that will avoid more spreading, Wright and his coaching staff will have more time training players for the next season.