Filed under Showcase, Sports

Raiders end season after reaching States

This year's boys basketball team is the first to come so close to a state championship.

Izaiah+Brockington+is+among+the+seniors+on+Ryan%27s+varsity+boys+basketball+team+who+will+be+moving+on+to+college+ball+next+year.
Izaiah Brockington is among the seniors on Ryan's varsity boys basketball team who will be moving on to college ball next year.

Izaiah Brockington is among the seniors on Ryan's varsity boys basketball team who will be moving on to college ball next year.

Izaiah Brockington is among the seniors on Ryan's varsity boys basketball team who will be moving on to college ball next year.

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It has yet to sink in that the legendary Ryan Raiders basketball season is over. With a loss  last Tuesday night to Reading in the PIAA semifinal, the Raiders put a cap on the greatest season of any Archbishop Ryan basketball team to touch the court. They were only two wins away from a state championship, something no previous Ryan basketball team has accomplished.

The Raiders dominated early in the state playoff game but slowly watched their lead slip. The Raiders opened the game with a 17-8 lead after the first quarter. Then Miami recruit Lonnie Walker led Reading to a 13-0 run to end the half with a 29-27 lead. The lead for Reading only increased after halftime and the Red Knights took solid control of the game. The Raiders gave tremendous effort but it was not enough as they lost by 6 with a score of 57-51.

The senior class of Izaiah Brockington, Chris Palantino, Fred Taylor, Matiss Kulackovskis, Ed Cahoe, and Vernon White played their final game in a Ryan uniform. This is the end of an era that will not be soon forgotten. The senior class was led by Izaiah Brockington, a player who will go down as one of the greatest to play as a Raider. Brockington graduates as the top scorer ever at Archbishop Ryan and a two time first team All Catholic. Joining him just last year was fellow first team All Catholic Matiss Kulackovskis. They made a dynamic duo that imposed matchup nightmares for opposing teams. They will both go on to play Division I basketball. Kulackovskis will continue to play at Bowling Green University while Brockington will be playing at New Jersey Institute of Technology. Fred Taylor is another senior who will continue his basketball career after his day at Ryan. Taylor has accepted a full scholarship to West Chester University.

It will be one hard task to fill these seniors’ shoes. That task is left to what is remaining of the Raiders. A lot will be expected of two underclassmen who played major minutes this year, Amin Bryant and Jaquill Stone. Looking to help them will be a senior class including Brendan Scanlon, Devon Vargas, Anthony Woodard and Kevin Lezin. These guys are looking to continue the legacy that their teammates have left for them.

“ The seniors this year gave their all every game and it is our job to not let them down next year,” said Vargas.

Coach Joe Zeglinski knows it will be different not having his leaders from this year but he also knows with some adjustments,  next year’s team can continue the success.

“I am upset to see the seniors go but it is now the offseason and time to work harder than we ever have to keep us at the top of the Catholic League,” said Zeglinski.

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