Saints seek success on road to state

Maria Steffen, Assistant Sports Editor

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As the regular season draws to a close, the Xavier boys’ basketball team is under more pressure than ever. The Saints are playing as the number one ranked team in the state and are expected to earn a ‘three-peat’ this year, their third state championship in a row.

Senior guard Jackson Joens, a starter and key player in the previous two championships, says the team is not thinking about the past.

“There is definitely pressure, but we try not to think about what we have already accomplished, just what is ahead of us,” Joens said.

The team is finding their success in focusing on themselves and not listening to what other people have to say.

“We have blocked out the outside noise and have focused on playing freely and with poise to be the best team that we can be,” senior guard Gabe Lux said.

Throughout the season, the boys have grown closer, which also helps to relieve the pressure.

“We all care about each other both on and off the court and that definitely shows come game night,” Lux said. “Our team has bonded heavily through our hard work and accountability in practices, and it’s something we take pride in.”

The boys won against Grinnell on  Monday, February 19 to advance to the sub state semifinals. They play tonight, Thursday, February 22, at 7 p.m. at home against the winner of Benton Community and Center Point-Urbana.  The winner of this game will advance to the US Cellular Center for the substate finals on Monday, February 26.

Maria Steffen

Assistant Sports Editor

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Saints seek success on road to state