In his first year as head coach of the 7th/8th grade boys basketball team, Gino Bracaloni lead the Eagles to an outstanding 14-4 record and three seed in the conference tournament. Liberty defeated Cypress in the first round before losing to perennial powerhouse New Hope in the semifinal.
Coach Bracaloni’s favorite of the fourteen victories was the overtime win against a previously undefeated Northside Christian team. With two seconds left in the game, Joseph Bracaloni scored the winning basket on a pick-and-roll pass from Davontrel Jackson.
That game also stands out in Coach Bracaloni’s mind as a time when the team showed their grit. Liberty only had six players for the entire game and when one of the leading scorers fouled out, the team rallied together to get the victory. Many times throughout the season, they only played with six or seven players and the greatest challenge for Coach Bracaloni was keeping the boys “focused on what they can do without being distracted by the opponent running into the gym with twelve players.”
The season began with some question marks about how good they would be and even if they’d have enough players to form a team. Coach Bracaloni says the players “really didn’t grasp the accomplishments they’ve achieved until we talked about it midway through the season and from then on they began to believe in themselves.”
Congratulations Coach Bracaloni and team on an excellent season!