For North Callaway varsity boys basketball coach Mathias Miller, once he heard there was going to be a boys and girls Licking Basketball Camp in Mexico, the idea of taking both his varsity and JV teams for two days of scrimmages and tournament competition was one that sounded rather intruiging.
Working in Miller's favor is the fact North Callaway Athletic Director Michael Emmons works hard to create and maintain an open and supportive culture regarding everything that directly effect any T-bird's athletic program and he was on board to the point he also went all-in on the girls team. In fact, he ended up so far in he was on the sidelines for the Ladybirds last Thursday and Friday at this event because head coach Morgan Beamer gave birth last Tuesday and her only assistant was on a cruise.
Miller and his guys began day two last Friday like a broken roller coaster by playing two fairly rough scrimmages that brought them to five games in two days. The squad then began the tournament with one of its best performances of this event by taking a 24-8 lead at halftime over Richmond before eventually coming out ahead 32-25.
"That was our sixth game in two days, but we're feeling pretty good. We played real good yesterday, I thought. This morning we did not play very well, but that's kind of the effects of the summer, also," said Miller. "Playing a lot of games yesterday and then playing this morning wasn't, it wasn't great basketball, but the last game we played there against a pretty good Richmond team there, we played pretty well. We played about as well as we could, probably. We played really well defensively."
After earning that initial victory North Callaway was just one win away from the title game. The problem was Basehor-Linwood was having such a day not only did it defeat the Thunderbirds 62-28, but it then played for the championship immediately after that against Spokane and won 43-19.
"That was encouraging to see. This is it for us. This is our last day of the summer. Once July starts the guys tend to focus on their fall sports and things like that, which is awesome," said Miller. "This will be the last day we will all be together until the start of the school year."