By Danny Emerman (Sports Correspondent).
The Sharon Eagles are stumbling into the playoffs with three consecutive losses. Belmont, Cathedral, and Foxboro all thwarted Sharon’s plan to enter the postseason with momentum.
Coach Andrew Ferguson hopes his team can bounce back, but is worried that his players lack the capacity to strive for excellence.
“I think a lot of kids in this program are content with being mediocre. That’s not something I want my program to be based on. I think they are people who rest on their laurels,” Ferguson said.
“They think ‘good enough’ is enough and it’s not. I push these guys really hard because I know what they’re capable of.”
Last night, @SharonBBall, the Sharon Boys Basketball Twitter account run by Ferguson, retweeted a motivational message describing the crossroads of mediocrity.
Mediocrity: You either allow it or you change it. You either accept it or your correct it.
— Alan Stein (@AlanStein) February 25, 2016
Point guard Jimmy Fitzhenry agrees with Ferguson and says that the team took its foot off the pedal once they clinched a playoff berth.
“I think we got content after we got to the tenth win. We thought just because we made it to the tournament we would be fine,” the sophomore said.
“We thought we could push through and beat any team no matter their skill level and record and we lost some games we should have won. I think we need to really turn it up and get focused for the tournament.”
Senior forward Mitchell Sirota points to a lack of concentration and systematic selfishness.
“I don’t know about being content with mediocrity, I don’t think that’s the problem. I think we have lapses of focus. A lot of people on our team don’t care as much as they should at some points.”
“Everyone on our team thinks that they should be a star player and playing every minute of every game and that messes with the mentality of the team,” Sirota said.
The highs and lows of the season for the Eagles summarize the inconsistency of the club. Disappointing losses to Milford (twice), King Philip, and Belmont are masked by convincing victories over powerhouses Foxboro and Taunton.
Coach Ferguson and junior point guard Ricardo Ripley acknowledge that beating Taunton and Foxboro is no joke.
“There aren’t many teams who can beat Taunton and Foxboro back to back in the same week,” Ferguson said.
“We beat Foxboro and Taunton in one week and that is the level we should be playing at all year,” Ripley said. “We definitely got content after our tenth win.”
“We have to play our best and we can be one of the best teams in the league. We were content with mediocrity and that’s not a good thing. I think in the playoffs we can make a good run but we all have to have our minds set on the same thing: a state championship,” Ripley added.