It was bye week last week for Antioch.
But the Sequoits said hello to a game floor anyway. An NBA floor, that is.
Head coach Jim White and his players made the short drive up to Milwaukee and took in an NBA game between the host Bucks and the Chicago Bulls.
"We had to hide some of our Bulls gear," White said with a laugh.
The Sequoits participated in a special package offered by the Bucks that includes an early entry and seats on the floor during team warm-ups.
"One of the Bucks threw a pass to one of our guys and had our guy pass it back to him so that he could shoot it," White said. "That was pretty cool. The whole thing was cool. We were down on the floor for about an hour, right up to the national anthem.
"We all had a lot of fun. It was fun to go out and do that as a team."
Team chemistry and team bonding has been a consistent them at Antioch this season.
Before the Sequoits took in a Bulls game together last week, they spent an afternoon bowling between holiday tournament games at Marengo.
"We played Richmond-Burton at like 9:30 in the morning one day and then we didn't play again until night," Antioch coach Jim White said. "Instead of driving all the way home from Marengo, we figured we'd just hang out there and do something as a team. So we went bowling.
"It was a long day, and we probably hit a little bit of a wall in our late game against Sycamore. But it was a lot of fun to make a day of it. The kids had a blast."
Antioch got handled by Grant earlier this week, but it wasn't because of poor free throw shooting.
The Sequoits (4-10) knocked down 21 of 28 free throws for a solid 75 percent clip, much better than they had been shooting earlier in the season.
"Free throws had really cost us in the past," Antioch coach Jim White said. "But we've been shooting a lot more free throws in practice. And not just that, but we've been shooting them in different situations that make it tough on the kids.
"We make it so there are consequences for missing, we make them run before shooting free throws so they are tired. We log the free throws we shoot very specifically. We make them shoot free throws in a game situation with a certain amount of time left on the clock. I think the different situations help us focus more."
Senior guard A.J. Marsiglio was particularly effective at the line against Grant. He nailed 8-of-10 free throws.
A.J. Marsiglio has become a top defensive priority for Antioch opponents.
It's just that prioritizing what to take away from Marsiglio can be a challenge.
The senior guard is averaging about 17 points per game but is creating not only for himself but for teammates as well. He also leads the team with about 3 assists per game.
"A.J. is so good at breaking down a defense and finding ways to the basket, or finding teammates," Antioch coach Jim White said. "We run a lot of isolation for him and just let him create. He's does a lot of things that just give us such a spark. He's been a sparkplug for us."
That goes for the defensive end, too.
Marsiglio has become a charge-drawing machine. He drew four charges this week in a loss to Grant.
"We made trying to take charges against Grant a point of emphasis and A.J. is the kind of player who just does anything you ask," Marsiglio said. "He makes a big impact on offense and on defense."
Quote of the week:
It's been a long time since the Antioch boys basketball team has beaten Lakes. How long? Seqouits head coach Jim White isn't for certain, but long enough, though, that he had this analysis of tonight's rivalry game between the two sister schools: "It's not really a rivalry if you don't ever beat them. We've got to find a way to make it a game against them and get a win," White said.