Reggie Crawford's last basketball game will go down as one of his best.
The senior shooting guard for Chaminade, Crawford went off for a career-high 41 points in the Red Devils' 89-78 loss to Kickapoo in the Class 5 third-place game Saturday.
Crawford hit on 15 of 23 shots from the field including 8 of 14 from 3-point range. He grabbed eight rebounds.
Chaminade (24-7) went to three consecutive final fours in large part because it had Crawford contributing.
“I've been blessed to make it three of my four years here,” Crawford said. “I'm just happy to be a part of it.”
Chaminade won the title last year and finished third in 2015 and fourth this season. The Red Devils will return all but two seniors as Crawford and Marin Vrucinic will don their caps and gowns in the spring. With so much talent returning, the Red Devils are expected to once again be among the state's best teams.
But will they be mentally tough enough to make it to Columbia a fourth consecutive season?
“It takes a lot out of you to get to Columbia and come up short," Chaminade coach Frank Bennett said. "Man, what type of character does it build in people? When you put the ball up, when you're done playing basketball, wherever it is, life has a way of giving you real setbacks. To be able to be in a position to teach these life lessons with young men and hopefully win a ball game or two or a championship along the way is something special.”
Bennett's hope is that the game can be used to mirror life. Like real life, some lessons don't always take the first or even second time.
A four-year varsity stalwart, Crawford is the epitome of what Bennett wants to see in a student-athlete.
“I just know that we'll miss him. His leadership, his toughness, his selflessness, the way he just buys in. He doesn't whine about anything,” Bennett said. “He's left a good example for the other guys to follow and hopefully they do. We'll see what happens next year.”
Content and photo courtsey of David Kvidahl and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch