BY AVERY PERSON
The boys’ basketball team finished with a record of 13-13. The young team improved over last season’s results and finished the season strong.
“We are a very young team with several sophomores and freshmen playing big minutes,” said assistant coach Kevin McCann. Out of the seven players who appeared in 22 or more of the team’s 26 games, five of them were underclassmen.
Freshman guard Jaylen Jones contributed by scoring a total of 143 total points this season. “It feels good knowing that I can compete with people at a high level of basketball, and it also has shown me that all the work I’ve put in over the years was worth it,” said Jones.
Sophomore Krish Patel improved upon his standout freshman year by scoring 37 more points, a total of 268, and getting tougher on defense this season. “I improved by learning the team’s defense and how the other team’s offense is,” Patel explained. “I just try doing my best to get better at playing on both sides of the floor each day.”
Fellow sophomore Brandon Medal, after finishing fifth on the team in scoring last year with 91 points, had his season cut short when he fractured his arm in December. “Brandon did a lot for us,” said senior Ryan Witte, who scored 267 points for the squad this season. “I had to start bringing the ball up, which wasn’t my strong suit. We missed Brandon.”
December also saw the team slip into a 6-game losing streak as players grew into their new roles. “We had a rough start but that was expected as we are a very young team with mostly underclassmen,” said Jones.
Transitioning from middle school or freshman teams to varsity took some time. “Having underclassmen on the team impacted the team tremendously,” said junior Ehi Odion. “They improved during the season, learning how to play in front of big crowds.”
That improvement showed as the team won 71 percent of their games over the final stretch of the season. “The second half of the year we have brought it together and have won 10 of our last 14 games,” explained Jones.
Other impactful underclassmen included freshman Michael Kvas who specialized on defense and the boards and sophomore Noah Balbuena who contributed 95 points. “Mikey has been a rebounding machine all season,” explained Jones. “Noah has shown glimpses of becoming an even better basketball player.”
The growth of the young team would not have been possible without the guidance and leadership of the experienced seniors Witte and team captain Adam Scire who led the team with 323 points and gave the team everything he had. “Adam Scire is our point guard and our leader,” explained McCann. “He’s played hurt a fair bit of the season but is always the hardest worker in the room and most energetic and talkative player we have.”
With six of the team’s key players returning next year, the squad will look to build upon the foundation established through the hard work and determination of the players during this tumultuous season.
Photos by Disha Dhingra and James DeMartini