After taking third place down in Columbia over the weekend, the Canton Tigers were welcomed home today. Their parents and fans greeted them after a chilly ride around town on a fire truck, followed by an assembly in the gym where several players gave thanks to the community. It was a special end to a special season, in a town that always had their back.
Tyler Niemann: "This is a great feeling. You saw the amount of people that showed up to support our basketball team. Seeing all these people here is just a tremendous feeling knowing that we have the support from people no matter where we go or what we do. And they'll always be behind us."
Geordan Hausdorf: "It's just been an amazing feeling. This being my last year at Canton and being able to pull this off for third place at state. It just means so much to have the community and the school behind us through all of it."
Gabe McKenzie: "It's huge, it helps us a lot, you know? Especially on our home floor hearing our fans, they get pretty loud. And at Mizzou, obviously it was really loud there. So it helps us a lot, motivates us."
Andy Anderson: "They really like to come and watch this team play. They are always talking how fun it is to watch these guys play. We play a fun game up and down the floor, kind of a fast place game. The community really likes it when they play like that. And just the way they share the ball and work together, I think that's the huge thing. But our community did a great job supporting us the whole way through. And especially going back down to Columbia on back to back nights. I thought we had great crowds both nights and even the state quarterfinal game we had a huge crowd there. You know throughout the season, all those quarterfinal and championship games we were apart of, we had great support."
And with that great support, Canton most certainly didn't disappoint with their play on the court. Regardless of falling short at state, the boys feel they went out on top.
McKenzie: "You know we're a pretty close knit group of guys. That's where we wanted to be at the start of the year and we got there. We would have like to got the big one, but, we...that was a tough loss, but we bounced back with a win and finished with a win."
Hausdorf: "Going down as the best team in Canton boys basketball history, it just means a lot. You can take it with you your whole life and come back to Canton one day and say that you were a part of that. It just means a lot to us."
Anderson: "There's a lot of good teams that have good seasons but the teams that have great seasons usually have great team chemistry. I think that was a big part of us making that extra step and getting passed the state quarterfinals this year."
Niemann: "I mean I'm happy with my career at Canton, I wouldn't want it any other way.The biggest thing about the season, I just had fun. Like you said, our pace was fast and we just run up and down. Not many teams get to finish their season on a W. Obviously that's not the win we wanted, we wanted to play in the state championship. But were the only two teams in the state of Missouri that got to finish with a W and we're happy with that."