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Special Olympics team places fourth at State

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The Special Olympics basketball team finished fourth at State after winning first in the qualifying tournament.
“State is the same as any other tournament. There was a winning bracket and a consolation bracket. There were other activities for the athletes as well, food, laser tag, bags, volleyball and a dance,” said coach Megan Stenberg.
The athletes worked hard to get there and endured through tough practices. The team was still eager to play at practice and gave a hundred percent.
“Practices are hard and intense. We’re pushed all the time, especially if you’re a junior or senior,” said junior Patrick Miner.
The team practiced every week to prepare for the State tournament.
“Practice has been good; the athletes are pretty eager during practice. We work a lot on our shooting and rebounding. We have two different defenses we play, so we practice that too. Our 3 vs. 3 scrimmage is the athletes’ favorite part of our practices,” Stenberg said.
Many of the players were excited to go to State, including those who go to Central.
“One of our Central players got really pumped up and excited,” said sophomore Tim Ryno. “One got a couple fouls on our team, one or two.”
Students from both Grayslake North and Central came to support the team and cheer them on. The school organized a fan bus that left in the morning to cheer on the team for Friday’s game.
“The fan bus that came on Friday was the best part. The support from peers got our athletes hyped. The athletes had high energy. Everyone worked hard and never gave up,” Stenberg said.
Students that came got to see their first game on Friday. Although they did not win that day, they came back the next game still ready to fight.
“We got fourth place. We lost the first one, or we lost both of them. The second game was close, and then the first, the first one we got whooped,” Miner said.

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