In Feb. 19 Issue
After an MVP season and playoff win on the gridiron for senior Martin Cross, the Laker point guard also had high hopes coming into this basketball season despite losing seven seniors and five starters from a season ago.
Cross hasn't disappointed. The Lakers sit at 15-9 overall with a 5-1 mark in district play and a number one seed in the 16th district tournament, which begins Monday night in Metcalfe County with a matchup against Cumberland County.
"It has definitely been fun," Cross said of the season of surprise. "I'm sure we've surprised a lot of people. Honestly I've been a little surprised, too, but I always knew we could win with the players we have."
He said when you come out and play hard every single night you are going to put yourselves in a chance to win night in and night out.
When the lights fade on Cross' high school hoops career, it will probably be the last time he plays organized competitive basketball.
"I'm going to miss that," he said. "I'm going to miss hanging out with the guys and having fun."
With a matchup against Cumberland County in Edmonton looming Monday night in the 16th district tournament, Cross and his teammates have one thing on their mind … another district championship.
"I definitely hope to win the district and go out, win a few games in region and see what happens from there," he said. "If we play hard enough and shoot enough threes we have a chance against anybody but there is always a chance that we lose too."
Cross, the leading assist man for the Lakers, said that he had improved his game the most in the area of getting shots for others.
"As a point guard that is really my main duty," Cross said. "That is really something I think I've gotten a lot better at."
He also credited his improved defense as another part of his game that has shown his senior season. As a crafty lockdown defender, Cross has posed matchup problems for opposing point guards all season long.
Cross credits much of his improved play to the high school coaching staff and Coach Willie Feldhaus.
"Not only does he teach you a lot about basketball he teaches you a lot off the court," Cross said. "You know what to expect from Coach Feldhaus and he expects the same from us night in and night out. That has been something I'll always look up to."
Assistant coaches Daniel Johnson, Shawn Coffey and Michael Carpenter were also credited by Cross as instrumental to his development.
As a role model for the younger players, Cross said he has tried to lead by example and play hard every night out.
"I try to be the hardest worker on the court, have fun and loosen everyone up," he said. "We're not playing with a lot of pressure this year and that is what has made it so fun."
For Cross and the Lakers, another title run begins now.