Chargers hoops squad brings home second state championship

This+year%27s+boys+basketball+team+won+the+second+state+title+in+school+history.

This year’s boys basketball team won the second state title in school history.

Joffari Brown, Correspondent

This year, St. Joseph’s boys basketball team took home the second state championship trophy in the history of the school – following in the footsteps of the 1999 boys basketball team. While the team was led by seniors Glynn Watson, Jordan Ash and Joffery Brown and junior Nick Rakocevic, freshman Joffari Brown saw some important minutes in crucial games this year. This is his account of the experience the team had downstate.

 

“The experience that I had downstate was great. It was a lot of fun and the team had a good week and stayed together and stayed focused. We didn’t let anything knock us off track. We knew we had what it took to get down there, but we had to work a little harder and take things to the next level as soon as we got down there. Once we got clicking, it was hard to stop us and that’s when teams had problems with us because we were hard to defend.

 

“Overall, it was a great season for me to be a freshman on varsity that was my goal – to start off the year with the varsity. I wanted to learn from Jordan, Glynn, Jarviss and my brother and I wanted to win a state title and I learned a lot of stuff along the way. It was learning as much as I did from a legend like Coach (Gene) Pingatore and I’m pretty sure we’ll be back downstate again next year.”

 

The Chargers opened the state tournament by beating Rockford Lutheran 55-38, including holding a 22-3 at one point in the first half. Watson led the way with 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting, with Rakocevic adding nine points and 10 rebounds. Ash and Joffery Brown each scored eight for St. Joseph.

 

The state championship game was a little tighter against Belleville Althoff, but the Chargers prevailed 67-63. Leading the way in the title game was Rakocevic with 18 points and 11 rebounds, with Watson scoring 19. Joffery Brown added 15 points as three Chargers reached double digits for the school’s second state championship in history. For the season, Watson and Ash each averaged 15 points per game for the Chargers, who went 29-6 on the year.