Dexter basketball standout Marco Lucchesi admits that losing to a rival is always tough.
“It’s always horrible to lose to your rival, especially the way that we did at the buzzer at home,” he says. “We had a lot of key mental and positioning errors down the stretch that really cost us the game. We felt like we played well enough to win that game, they just made more plays down the stretch.”
Still, the junior guard is a big-picture kind of guy. The sting from that loss to Chelsea on a three-pointer at the buzzer will eventually fade and the Dreadnaughts will use what happened as a learning experience – and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
This season has been a lot of learning experiences for the Dreads who have been showing steady progress despite the loss to the Bulldogs. Dexter has since bounced back with wins over Pinckney and Tecumseh.
“Where we are now compared to the start of the year has been a complete 180,” says Lucchesi. “We have definitely turned the corner. We are playing well together and have started to hit shots. The first couple of games we couldn’t buy a bucket.”
It’s common for young and inexperienced teams to take some time before players start to learn and understand roles and assignments. That time has arrived for the Dreadnaughts.
“Guys are stepping up and embracing their roles on the team,” says Lucchesi. “The keys to getting better right now are being in the right spots, communicating and getting stops defensively. The first couple games we were out of position constantly. We weren’t talking, which greatly affected our ability to play defense. We are starting to do these things which have been the cause of us turning the corner.”
Lucchesi, 16, sees plenty of positives moving forward.
“We lost a lot of close games in the first half of the season, but we are getting better and better with each game,” he said. “We have a lot of talented players who are stepping up; this gives us confidence that we’ll be on the winning end of those close games the second half of the season.”
Marco, the son of Lisa and Richard Lucchesi, also excels in the classroom. He has a 4.0 grade-point average. He started playing basketball at an early age and has been hooked ever since.
“The first team I ever played on was first grade,” he said. “I liked it right away, mainly because I was good at it, but also because I just really liked it and wanted to play.”
Lucchesi started playing AAU in fourth grade for DSO Sports. In eighth grade, he switched teams to Ann Arbor Basketball Academy, now known as The Academy which is run by Jordan Ebbs. Last season they played in the Adidas Silver Gauntlet, where they traveled frequently to Chicago and Ft. Wayne.
“We also played out in California last summer,” he said. “I have played all over Michigan and the Midwest against some of the top competition in the country. This upcoming AAU season we will be playing in the NY2LA circuit.”
After starting on JV as a freshman at Dexter, Lucchesi played varsity as a sophomore. He admits there was a big adjustment.
“I would come home from practice and my whole body would just be sore as my teammates were a lot stronger than me,” he said. “The strength factor was the biggest adjustment jumping from JV to varsity. During the season, I was mainly the sixth man, first off the bench behind our five senior starters.”
He finished third on the team in scoring.
After a slow start this season, Dexter’s goals have changed.
“The goal is a District championship,” he said. “We feel that we have a great shot at the District, especially with it being at our place.”
His personal goal is to keep improving and take his game to another level.
“I want to be a constant threat offensively, be able to make big plays defensively, and lead this team to some wins,” he said.