The last ride: Senior boys basketball players compete in all-star game

Bryce Rubel, Multimedia Manager

On March 21, two Pleasant Valley seniors had the honor of representing their school in the Iowa-Illinois All Star Game. With only 12 individuals selected from the Iowa side, Ryan Dolphin and Joel Lawlor were among the best in the metro area this past season. 

The two seniors were a part of a record-breaking Spartan basketball team. Dolphin and Lawlor helped the Spartan basketball team set the best single season record in school history at 22-1. Not only did they set the best record, but they also helped set the record of least points allowed per game in a season. 

The two basketball stars have been huge parts of the Spartan basketball program the past few years and were also  part of the team that traveled to state their junior year. Aside from the basketball program’s recent success, the two star players were able to make an impact on an individual level as well. 

Dolphin made his impact on the team by being the team’s leading scorer and a captain for the Spartans. Dolphin has had lots of experience on the varsity level as he is a four-year player and a three-year starter. A majority of his success comes from the work he puts in outside the high school basketball season. Dolphin has been playing since he was 5 years old and also plays travel basketball during the offseason where he works on polishing his skills.

Dolphin was thrilled to hear that he had another opportunity to play high school ball again. “I was extremely excited when I was selected,” he said. “It’s a great honor to be able to represent the Iowa side and to be able to represent my school and wear my jersey one last time.”

The second senior, Joel Lawlor, was another key player in the Spartans’ recent success. This past year, Lawlor was the team’s best defender and also served as a captain for the Spartans. Lawlor’s dedication started when he was 4 years old and introduced to basketball. During the offseason, he plays on a travel ball team every spring and summer to sharpen his basketball skills. 

Lawlor has been a three-year varsity player and was excited to hear about the opportunity to represent the hard work he put in as a high school basketball player. “More than anything I was just happy to play one more high school game,” he said. “It was amazing to play with one of my teammates from PV and to have my family and friends there one more time to end my high school career.”

Dolphin and Lawlor have found great success in their high school basketball careers and finished off the season leaving a mark for future generations of the Spartan basketball program. Their basketball careers will not stop in college as Dolphin will be continuing his basketball career at Coe College and Joel Lawlor will be continuing his at Loras College in the same conference. The two stars look forward to facing off in the future, this time on opposing teams.