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Business Finished. Coach Insinger Discusses His State Championship Team

Like King Arthur’s quest for the Holy Grail, legendary, longtime Loyalsock High School basketball mentor, Ron, C. I., Insinger, had his own quest for his own Holy Grail–a state basketball championship title. Well, finally, after 47 years, that arduous quest has ended joyfully with a 75-53 win over Brookville two weeks ago. We at Webb Weekly thought it would be good to have Coach Insinger talk about the magical team that brought him his “Grail” and what the accomplishment meant to him.

First, he provided a capsule summary of the members of his championship team.

Idris Ali

He is our Team Captain and Coach-on-the-floor! Calm, cool leader on the floor. Nothing rattles him. He plays his best and steps up his game to another level when the competition is great. He’s a “Gamer.” He leads the team in assists, steals, and points. Idris is very smart both on the court and in the classroom. He plans on playing basketball at the next level. He has been selected as MVP of the team this season.
Dominic Jennings:

An honor student, he leads by example. He can shoot the eyes out of the basket. Shot over 40 percent behind the arc. Dom was our defensive specialist this year. He was in constant hustle mode for all 32 minutes. Dominic plans on attending a 4-year university and continues to run track and cross country.
Sean Jensen:

Most improved player. He is a workhorse. He just got better and better as the season went on. He stepped up big time when Saraj was out with an injury. Sean crashes the boards and can also light up the 3s. He’s a steady player who doesn’t get rattled. Sean plans on attending a 4-year university.
Elija Gair:

Basketball is his passion. You can find Eli in the gym shooting or playing pick-up games any time of the day. Great work ethic. Eli is a very unselfish player. He averaged double digits but was happy dishing out an assist. Eli is deadly from behind the arc and rebounds very well. No one loves the game more than Eli! He would also love to continue playing basketball at the next level.
Saraj Ali:

Mr. Exciting. When Saraj is on the court, big things happen. He is either blocking someone’s shot or slamming one down. Saraj is almost unstoppable when he gets the ball down low. He is all business when he is on the court.

I am looking forward to his senior year. Big things are going to happen for him. His value as a player went up tremendously during the PIAA playoffs.
Julian Wilson:

The gentle giant. Julian filled some big shoes when Saraj was out with an injury. He is the definition of a team player. Julian accepted his role whether he was a starter or the first one off of the bench. He was a force on the boards — definitely the most underrated player. We would not be State Champs without Julian. Julian plans on playing football at Lackawanna Community College in the fall.
Grayson Watkins:

A workhorse. He suffered some injuries throughout the season but never missed a practice. He worked hard to learn our system, being that he didn’t play basketball until his senior year. Grayson pushed the starters to become better with his consistent play throughout practice. He made everyone around him so much better! He is a very athletic young man who also has many talents in the music realm. Grayson is attending Penn College in the fall.
Brendan Clark, Jaiden Ross, Braydon Miller:

All three of these boys could see a lot of varsity action next year. Each adds a different dimension to the game. Brendan displayed his ability to hold his own as a big man throughout the season. Playing against Saraj and Julian has made him a better player. He has the determination and dedication to step up his game to the next level and be a major contributor next year. Jaiden has all the natural ability that you cannot teach — he can jump out of the gym and has great quickness. He was always the first guy to lift up the team when things were not going their way. Look for Jaiden’s leadership to help out the Lancers next season. Braydon, unfortunately, played hurt most of the season. He has a nice shot and can stroke the 3s.
Cy Cavanaugh and Rian Glunk:

Our super sophomores. Both of these young gentlemen have the ability to be major contributors to next year’s team. No one plays harder than Cy. He gives 110 percent effort always and would do anything for the team and coaches. Rian missed almost the whole season with a back injury. When Rian is healthy, he can be a force to be reckoned with — look for great things from him next season. He definitely could be the major surprise in Central PA.
Nathan Bauman, Tyler Gee, Gage Patterson:

The fantastic freshmen! All three of these young men were like sponges this season. They soaked up everything the coaches said and put it into practice. They learned how to elevate their game by practicing day in and day out with the juniors and seniors. Remember their names, because you will be hearing great things about them for the next three years. All three would have started on many area teams.
Coach Insinger reflected on his championship team.

“There are times to be selfish and times to be selfless. Great players and great teammates have this figured out. To be successful, you have to be selfish, or else you never achieve, Insinger told Webb Weekly. “And once you get to the highest level, then you have to be unselfish. Stay reachable. Stay in touch.

He continued, “Many terrific assistant coaches and thousands of outstanding players have been a part of the dynasty. Averaging over 22 wins per season over the past 47 years will be next to impossible to duplicate. Unfinished Business was the theme this year. The players never lost sight of this goal. The coveted title was once just a huge dream.

“Jeff Everett, an amazing assistant coach, as well as Randy Glunk, had the team well prepared for the playoffs. Good things come to those who believe, better things come to those who are patient, and the best things come to those who don’t give up. There was never any giving up with this team. The young men always took responsibility for their own game and their preparation. At the end of the day, they owned their own performance. This team oozed with optimism. They were always committed to the team and always brought a contagious, good attitude. The energy level was usually top-notch, as was this year’s edition of Lancer Lightning. It was a season for the history books!”

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