It has been a pretty good year for the Lebanon Rockets.
The Rockets are an area homeschool basketball team consisting of players from Camdenton, Osage Beach, Lebanon, Buffalo, Dixon and Marshfield and those players just captured the 4A state title with a 51-39 win over the Applewood Mustangs on Saturday at St. Louis Christian College.
“The boys were very determined and I told them that if they could hold the turnovers down there is not a team we can’t beat and they did that,” said Coach Calvin Morrow who has been the leader of the boys’ program for the past eight years and took his team to state for the first time.
The boys’ team is a part of Lebanon Area Homeschool Athletics, which has been around for 15 years. There is also a junior varsity team and girls’ program coached by Jennifer Barton of Camdenton. Some of the players have been involved in the program as early as nine or 10 years old including Morrow’s son Joe who is currently 16 years of age.
The boys have amassed a record of 18-6 so far this season and are carrying plenty of momentum into a conference tournament that tipped off on Thursday night with eight teams coming from southwestern Missouri in areas like Rolla and as far away as northern Arkansas.
After the conference tournament, the Rockets will be one of 96 teams in the 18 and Under Division competing for a national championship at Missouri State in Springfield March 13th through the 17th. The National Christian Homeschool Basketball Championships will host its 26th annual tournament and features teams from all over the country.
Morrow said his club has been fun to watch all season and he is looking forward to seeing what his guys are made of as they look to finish out this season with some more hardware.
“I always tell the boys if they do what I tell them to do, play hard and play with real solid determination we should not have any trouble winning the conference tournament. Nationals is always the big unknown,” he stated. “We shoot for the stars, but we are realistic as well. We know we have a young team and rely heavily on outside shooting so it is a little bit more exciting having four guys that can shoot from the outside.”
Time will soon tell what the rest of the season has in store from this group of players representing the area.