One Last Hurrah

Boys Basketball reflects on 2021-2022 season


Liam Bradford, Sports Editor

The grind of pouring blood, sweat, and tears into a long, gritty season always results in a very emotional ending. As the season wraps up, the Lakeland Hawks’ journey on the court has ended with mixed emotions and a bittersweet feeling for everyone involved. 

The boy’s basketball team finished the season with an 8-11 record(3-5 IEL). While there were quite a few underclassmen on the Hawk’s roster, the seven seniors were the main storyline for coach Tony Hanna’s team. Starters Grant Roth, Alden Waddington, Bryce Henry, Abe Munyer, as well as reserves Jared Rings, Josh Haug, and Tommy Pearson all played their final game for the Hawks on Feb. 21. 

The season was filled with ups and downs for the Hawks, including some very positive notes such as: winning Battle for the Paddle, dominating senior night against Timberlake, and beating a 5A team, Post Falls, by double-digits on the road. 

Although each Lakeland player who had something to say about the season added that it didn’t end the way they envisioned or wanted, the Hawks have a lot to be proud of moving forward. Not only do they have a bright future, but the season that they put together competing with high levels of talent was nothing to be ashamed of by any stretch of the imagination. 

Senior Grant Roth played a more extensive role than perhaps anyone else on the team, including a 26-point performance in the season finale.

“I had a good overall season where I really improved from last year,” Roth said. “… I think a lot of people didn’t expect much since we lost some key players from last year.”

“I think we came together as a team and played well… It may not have ended as we hoped, but I look back on my senior season as a lot of fun playing the game I love.” 

Roth added that his favorite moment of high school basketball was playing at home in Battle for the Paddle for senior year. 

When asked about his senior season, Abe Munyer said, “I look back on my senior season and am grateful for my opportunity to play and build relationships with my teammates.” 

He said that his favorite moment of the season was at Kellogg during the national anthem. 

“I’d have to say my favorite moment throughout my high school career was having the opportunity to play on the same team as my brother and having my dad on the coaching staff,” Munyer added. 

Bryce Henry took on a substantial role for the Hawks in his senior year and was a big part of the team’s success, including leading the team in points in Battle for the Paddle. 

“I knew we were going to be slightly younger and inexperienced going into the season. We experienced a lot of growth as a team, but we didn’t meet our expectations, which was disappointing,” said Henry. 

“I look back on my senior season as the year I took my game to the next level. I am satisfied with how I pushed everyone to be their best. It was really cool to see Scotty(Hocking) and Collin(Cameron) grow throughout the season as players. My favorite moment of the season was dunking on the first possession of the year against Kellogg,” Henry added. 

A huge morale boost for the Hawks was when 6’6 forward Alden Waddington joined the team mid-season and added a lot of extra help inside, where the Hawks needed it after losing bigs Noah Haaland and Jalen Skaalskiy to college the last offseason. 

A nickname given to Waddington by yours truly during the broadcast against Sandpoint, “the rebound king,” played a huge role for the Hawks down the stretch. Unfortunately, Waddington’s season was cut short in the double-overtime thriller against Sandpoint as he suffered a fractured avulsion in his foot which sent him out of track season. “The reason why I joined late is because I saw my guys struggling, and it wasn’t fair for me just to be watching in the stands.” 

When asked about his injury, Waddington said, “It’s devastating. Going out while leading, then losing hurts to watch. It hurts because of the amount of effort I put in and the sacrifices I had to make to possibly reach a non-guaranteed goal of state. I enjoyed the bus rides, and I want to say thank you to the team and coach for letting me help the best I could.”

“It’s hard to say what the future will look like, but I trust coach Hanna will do a good job getting guys in the gym over the offseason,” said Munyer when asked about his thoughts on the future of the program. Both Waddington and Roth mentioned that the team has a promising future and that younger guys will step up into more prominent roles next season. 

Coach Tony Hanna analyzed his inaugural season as head coach by saying, “It was a great group of guys to coach. They always kept things entertaining. They also were great representatives of what I would like to see in our teams moving forward: high character people.” 

“Although our final game didn’t end the way we would have liked, beating Post Falls for the first time in a long time was a big moment for us, as well as being able to represent Lakeland in a big win over Sandpoint in Battle for the Paddle, in which the energy was incredible inside the gym,” said Hanna. 

“This was a special group of seniors. They gave everything they had for the program and each other. Every one of them will be successful in whatever they pursue in their futures,” he added. 

“That being said,  It was truly my pleasure to work with the young men in the basketball program this season, and there are very good things coming in the future. You will see me around at various athletic events as a spectator and proud fan of Lakeland outside of the basketball season.” Coach Hanna added a final message, “Don’t be afraid to fail, be afraid not to try.” 

The Hawks season was one for the history books, and all who were a part of it should be very proud of all they accomplished.