Eskomos ready to reload after stellar season on the court
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
ESKO, Minn. – With all the success the Esko girls basketball program has seen, from their historic teams to their record-breaking seasons, many pondered if the Eskomos would be as strong when first-year head coach Scott Antonutti walked in the door.
After winning their first 12 games of the season, being ranked one of the top teams in the state and taking second place in the always-tough Polar League Conference, Antonutti and the Eskomos’ season was stronger than ever.
Esko finished their 2008-2009 campaign with an eye-popping overall record of 23-5, with four of those losses to teams that made it to the state tournament. Their 9-1 conference record also turned some heads, as their only loss of the year was to top-ranked Barnum.
It was the Eskomos that defeated Pine City in the first round of the playoffs; however, they were unfortunately beat by eventual Section 7AA champion Braham 50-36 in the quarterfinals and were handed an early exit to stellar season.
But Antonutti couldn’t have been more proud.
“I think it was a great accomplishment to only lose five games this year,” said Antonnuti. “It would have been nice to advance further, but it was fun. They’re all great students and it was really a pleasurable season.”
Esko will lose five seniors to graduation, including four who logged significant playing time, as well as four who were named to the Academic All-State team. But with a number of girls with experience and talent returning next year, Anotunnti can’t wait to see how strong his Eskomos will be.
“I’m very optimistic about the future,” he said. “We have a lot of experience coming back and I think we’ll reload rather than rebuild.”
Tags: winter sports wrap up