New Castle News

March 27, 2013

Our Opinion: The Red Hurricane fell short, but that’s not the real story

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — There are two ways, we suppose, to look at the results of this season’s Red Hurricane basketball team.

One is to be disappointed. To achieve so much and come so tantalizingly close to a state championship is difficult. It’s understandable that players and fans have a sense of missing out on something great.

But we think the real emphasis ought to be on what was achieved. Every year, very few teams reach these levels of competition and excellence. It’s something to be applauded, not regretted.

The fact is, the closer to the top of any competition of this sort, the more difficult it is to win. The quality and dedication of opponents is greater. They, too, worked hard to reach this level.

Basketball is a game where individual ability and talent can aid a player greatly. Yet we all know, like any other team sport, success against tough competitors benefits from coordination and cooperation among team members. Making and taking passes, knowing where fellow players are on the court along with moves they will make and playing smart defense all contribute to victory. That’s especially so when the competition reaches the elite level.

And this year, New Castle reached the elite level, racking up win after win before falling to Lower Merion in the PIAA semifinals last week. The ’Canes ended their season with a remarkable 29-1 record. That’s an impressive string, no matter how you slice it.

And while disappointment in reaching the Final Four level in statewide competition before falling short may be inevitable, we think the Red Hurricane team and its fans should put a priority on the successes of this year. That’s because putting this many victories together doesn’t come through mere luck or even sheer talent. It comes through dedication and determination. In every game, something’s always waiting to trip a team up.

In many ways, much of life is like that. There are always challenges, obstacles and difficulties to face. Meeting these successfully, or at least in ways that provide useful lessons for the future, are important. That’s true with teams, workplaces, families and other aspects of society.

It’s no secret that discipline is important to success in competitive sports. So it is in the rest of life. Ideally, the real lesson provided by competitive sports at the high school level involves the values of discipline and teamwork that can carry into so many other areas of adulthood.

So rather than mourn defeat, we think New Castle ought to focus on the successes of this year’s Red Hurricane team. And we hope the players are able to take what they have learned this year and carry it forward.