Union Grove continues banner school year - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Union Grove continues banner school year


On a wall full of banners, not one represents Union Grove boys basketball.

"It's kind of embarrassing," said Union Grove senior Garrett Gibson.  "Everyone used to always want to play Union Grove."

Not a single playoff appearance since 1961.  The drought is over.

After a win over Jefferson on Saturday, the Lions are set to play their first playoff game in 53 years.

"I don't know who was happier, us or the coach," said Union Grove senior Tyler Owens.  "Our coach started crying and made us tear up."

"About 15 seconds to go in the game, tears started falling down my eyes," said head coach Dee Lewis.  "Tears of joy. I was so happy for this bunch of kids."

Lewis calls his team a group of fighters. The same kids ended a 45 year playoff drought just three months earlier on the football field.

"We've all been together since two a days," said Gibson.  "We all have that chemistry and it's just real fun."

"We're all brothers," said Union Grove senior Hunter Gray.  "When someone's down, we pick them up. It's not the Union Grove of the past where we let everyone crumble. We pick each other up and treat each other like brothers."

Brothers that will leave in incredible legacy. And two special banners on the gymnasium wall.

"It's going to be very special," said Lewis.  "They can walk back in this gym and look on the wall and see their banner and say 'We're the team that broke it after 53 years.'"

The Lions will face Hawkins Tuesday night in the bi-district round in Longview.

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