They had a shot at the sixth grade tournament title last December when they made it to the championship game. But it snowed.
They’ve also done well in the Carroll County Basketball League’s regular season — that is, until the playoffs arrived. Two years ago in the fifth-grade semifinal, Freedom beat Gamber on a 30-foot shot in the final second.
Freedom victimized the Hornets again last March, this time in the sixth grade division championship game. It delivered a demoralizing blow by beating them in triple overtime.
These misfortunes aside, Baccala has been happy with his kids' play. They play hard, and they play well. When they lose, it's close.
This past summer, he did very well on the AAU basketball circuit. Baccala said Gamber won roughly two-thirds of its 30 games, and that even included a couple of tournament championships and a runner-up finish.
Perhaps things were starting to change.
The coach and his assistants, Joel Levin and John Hedrick, felt confident about their team's prospects coming into last weekend's tournament. The squad had gone 8-3 in last year's regular season, and all 11 of his players had returned for the third consecutive year.
“I thought we’d make it to the championships,” Baccala said.
The Hornets’ first two games, Dec. 28, were easy wins. The first was a 61-25 victory over the Howard County-based Sting team.