“Unbelievable Would Be Too Cliche”

William Penn Sr. Blake Walker finished the night with a Triple-Double versus Dordt.

William Penn Sr. Blake Walker finished the night with a Triple-Double versus Dordt.

Branson, Mo. – The William Penn Men’s Basketball team of 2013-14 has flown under the radar of nearly everyone since a less than impressive 0-4 start to the season.

Kelly Madison who nailed the final 3-pointer of the game to help seal the deal on a team effort that stretched the small team to the limit. With only 9 players on the roster, and only one of those being over six foot seven, they were easy to overlook. “They were a really good team and I’m happy to get the W,” said Madison.

But as the old saying goes, it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog, and the Statemen were in trouble. That team was in foul trouble, with a third of their remaining players sitting on the bench due to foul trouble, those that remained displayed their heart, and left it all on the floor.

“I’m exhausted, I don’t know what to say,” said Tyler Stahle in the media room just moments after the big win. “The things this teams been though, to beat a team like that, it just feels good.”

The team won the MCC Tournament to claim their automatic berth to the National Tournament, and now claimed a first round victory to move on, and Stahle says it’s a credit to Coach Henry, “You can’t say enough about him. He never says die.”

“There was a lot of intensity in this game,” said Madison of the difference in Thursday night’s game versus others they played all year long.

“Unbelievable would be too cliche,” said William Penn Men’s Basketball Head Coach John Henry on the teams first round win over Dordt. “Just a test of wills, from a team that has not given up, ever ever ever.”

“When we were oh and four when the season started, these guys never got down. Nobody pointed fingers and nobody cried,” said Henry.

“Now I know that James Devlin’s shot last year was unbelievable, but I’ve got to tell ya, this is right there with it. Everybody that was here tonight will not forget where they were when this happened.”

“If you would have told me we were going to the sweet sixteen at any point in the season, even after Sunday’s win versus Grand View, I would have been like, meh, OK, we will give it our best. But, it’s here and we did it, and we did it in amazing, dramatic fashion,” Henry said.

Henry’s son, who can always be found on the team bench or next to his dad, told Henry that he felt as though it was a dream. “I do too,” Henry told him. “But it’s a dream we’re actually living.”

The Statesmen will now take on St. Thomas from Florida Friday night at 9:15 PM. You can catch the action on MCG Channel 7 and also on KBOE.

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