Men’s varsity basketball dominates in first game of season
Though the NBA is suffering from a lockout, it’s not preventing the high school men’s basketball teams from kicking off their seasons. This past Saturday, Nov. 19, the men’s varsity basketball team emerged victorious against St. Maria Goretti, 49-33.
The game started off with sophomore Kamau Stokes’s three-point shot, but after that, both teams struggled to put points up on the board. The score remained 3-0 until there were four minutes and 42 seconds left in the first quarter. Near the end of the quarter, JC broke out with a three-pointer from freshman Justin Jenifer and a two-point shot from sophomore Lionel Owona. St. Maria Goretti’s only response was a three-pointer from senior Gavin Rajahpillay.
During the first five minutes of second quarter, not a point was scored, but they picked up the pace shortly afterwards. Goretti earned points from sophomore Martinas Geben, who knocked down a three-pointer, and through foul shots scored by other members of the team. Junior Mike Owona dunked the ball after Stokes stole it and lobbed it up to Owona. Senior Jarred Jones scored a three pointer, which helped stretch out JC’s lead, ending the first half at 23-9.
In the third quarter, Goretti began to pick up momentum. Senior Shae King hit two shots, but missed a foul shot that could have narrowed the lead even further. However, junior Tyrus Fleetwood made up for it when he scored a three-pointer.
JC began to lag behind a little, but still managed to put some points on the board. Jones made a shot and Jenifer made four foul shots and a three-pointer, making the score at the end of the third quarter 32-18.
As the game began to wind down, Fleetwood and Geben kept Goretti alive. Fleetwood knocked down two successful foul shots and a three-pointer, while Geben added another six more points. Owona blocked one of Goretti’s shots, but it was deflected right back at the offense, who failed to take advantage of it. Junior Rodney Elliot was fouled frequently enough to take 10 foul shots, making six of them, and added his own two points afterwards to make a final score of 49-33.
“We didn’t play as well as we expected, but it’s the first game and we still have a lot to work on. I think the team got off to a rough start because it was the first game and we all are getting a feel playing with each other and working on our team chemistry,” senior Marcus James said.
The next game will be played at St. Paul’s School, Nov. 22 at 6:00 p.m.
Imani Love is a Sports Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.