Bobcats bounce top seeds en route to Frank Spencer Championship

The Bobcats defeated three of the top four seeds in the tournament en route to the championship.

Bobcats bounce top seeds en route to Frank Spencer Championship
December 29
14:31 2021

Beating the best en route to a championship gives a team added satisfaction to their victory. For the Glenn Bobcats, that’s what they felt winning the Pepsi Bracket of the Frank Spencer Holiday Classic.

The Bobcats were the No. 5 seed going into the tournament. On their way to the championship, they defeated the No.1, No.2 and No.4 seeds of the tournament.

“We weren’t really fine with where we were seeded, so when they came out, we just used it as motivation,” said Glenn head coach Jonathan Gainey. “No matter what seed you are, at the end of the day you want to be holding the trophy on the championship night and we were able to do that.

“I was just happy for the boys because we have been working hard. We set team goals this year and one of the goals was to win the Frank Spencer. We worked hard and we knew it was going to be tough.”

The Bobcats played with a chip on their shoulder for their first-round game against Atkins, winning the game 69-48.  It was as if they wanted to prove they were better than their No. 5 ranking indicated.

“We were focused and when the seeds came out, I told the team where I put us at and it was above 5, so we kind of felt slighted, but you know everyone has their own opinion,” said Gainey. “I told them that we can’t be mad at what people think of us, but we can prove everybody wrong and that was our motivation.”

For the game against No. 1 seeded Mt. Tabor, the Bobcats were focused and ready to play, said Gainey.  

“For us, we wanted to show people we can play, because sometimes there is a mystique; Mt. Tabor has been one of the better teams in the city for the last 15 years,” Gainey said. “Andy (Muse) does a great job and he is a very good coach. 

“When you look back over the last few years who has been the best teams, it’s been Winston-Salem Prep under Andre Gould, it’s been Andy Muse at Mt. Tabor, then there was Howard West, and now Billy Martin at Reynolds, so we knew going into that game we wanted to play at our pace. Mt. Tabor wants to speed you up, so we just wanted to spread the floor and make them defend. I knew if we could control the pace, which we were able to do, I knew we would be there in the end and we were able to pull that game out.

Gainey did not want his team to get too high emotionally after beating Tabor, because they still had another game to play. He told his team they did not come to the Frank Spencer to beat Mt. Tabor, but instead came to win the entire tournament.

“I just wanted to make sure we checked that box by being Frank Spencer champions,” Gainey said about his mindset going into the championship game. “We knew it was a championship game, so we knew it was going to be a lot of energy.

“We were up 10 at halftime and I told the guys we won the first half, but we have to stay focused for 16 more minutes and we were able to do that. I told them if we cut our mistakes, we would be able to check that box and that’s what we did.”

Gainey, who has been Glenn’s head coach for five years, felt his team had what it took to compete with anyone in the city. That’s why winning the Frank was a realistic goal this year.

“We knew what type of team we had, we knew the work we put in over the summer, and our football team did a great job and made a deep run, so we didn’t get those guys until three days before the season started,” he said.  “We were kind of behind the eight ball with everybody getting on board and blending the football guys with everyone who made the team.”

Gainey says he knew there were doubters around who felt his team could not compete with others around the county. He says it gives him a little extra satisfaction being able to disprove the doubters.

“People are always going to have their doubts about you, and they will always say what you can’t do,” he stated.  “The only thing you can do when they say that is not get mad but to just prove them wrong.

“We know what we do in that gym. We know how hard we are working. There is no secret to success, you just have to outwork your opponent. Again, I am happy for Glenn and I am happy for our program. There are two things you can be, the hunter or the hunted. We were the hunter a couple of years ago. Now I think we have people’s respect.  We had to gain it, but more importantly, we earned it and that’s what you want. We are going to get everybody’s best now. We are no longer the hunter; we are the hunted and I like being in that position and look forward to the challenge ahead.”

Gainey is a graduate of Glenn High School, so winning the Frank Spencer Tournament for his alma mater gives him extra enjoyment. He says he doesn’t want to look too far ahead, but would rather take it game by game.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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