BLOOMFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — The varsity boys basketball team at Bloomfield Highschool won CIAC semi-final boy’s basketball tournament on Wednesday night.

The win mirrors the team’s journey to the state championships one year ago, but in the huddle and celebration this year, the team felt someone was missing.

Last March, Head Coach Kevin Moses led the Warhawks to a state championship victory, but during that time he was in a war of his own. Six months later he lost his battle with colon cancer.

“We always say a prayer for Coach Mo,” Bloomfield Boys Basketball Assistant Coach Corey McKeithan said.

This year the Warhawks are playing for more than a title. Their hope is Coach Kevin Moses will celebrate with them again, but in heaven and in their hearts.

“He was dancing at Mohegan when they won a year ago it was just a beautiful moment with his kids,” CIAC Director of Media John Holt said. “For them to be back and get another chance and to play in his memory and to be inspired by all he meant to them, I’m getting goosebumps.”

Moses was a star athlete in Bloomfield, then coached there for over 30 years building connections beyond life as a coach, mentor and friend.

Bloomfield mourns loss of Coach Kevin Moses

“It was hard for sure but I feel like we picked a good group of guys to fill that role and I feel like if he was here he would pick that same group,” said sophomore point guard Cayden Smith.

“He bonded with all the players so we really wanted to bring that back for him and win this chip for him,” McKeithan said.

Bloomfield remained resilent, winning all but two games the entire season.

Now their focus is on Sunday with hopes for a title repeat and when they hit the hardwood say they’ll have extra spirit in their hearts.

“That’s what we’re playing for this year, Mo was a great coach, a great individual, a great human,” McKeithan said.

“He loves to win so I know winning it for him would be the biggest deal for me,” Smith said.

The 2023 CIAC Boys Basketball State Championship Game is set for this Sunday at Mohegan Sun at 3 p.m.

News 8 will have coverage of all the state final games this weekend in sports.