Boys basketball takes on Vertical Academy in a highly-anticipated R1A tournament

Allison Coyne, Photography & Art Editor

After a championship season last year, the men’s varsity basketball team stepped into an even larger arena during the R1A Classic Tournament.

In this tournament, teams from all over the United States and Canada came to compete against the best of the best. John Carroll played against Vertical Academy on Saturday, January 8.
Vertical Academy is a club basketball team based out of Charlotte, North Carolina. Featuring a team containing players from California to Texas, the match-up was strong against the Baltimore Catholic League Champions.
Unfortunately, the Patriots lost with a score of 66-74. Nonetheless, the team had fun throughout the game and enjoyed the new experience.
For many of the players, the energy and scope of the game was thrilling. Freshman Theartis Battle and Kaden Chinnia-Falline got play time on the court along with the upperclassman. Located at the APGFCU Arena in Harford Community College, many fans filled the stands to see their favorite players.
Some of these players included senior Tyson Commander, guard for JC, who finished the game with 26 points. Another was junior Mikey Williams, 5-star guard for Vertical Academy.
With such an active crowd, the team felt that energy all throughout the game.
Senior Max Snellenburg said, “Anytime a 3-pointer would fall, or someone would dunk, the crowd would go crazy.”
“I was proud of the way the guys kept their composure and stayed focused on the game and playing together with everything else going on,” commented Assistant Coach Jeremy Mellady.
Head coach Seth Goldburg was extremely proud of his team and each player who rose up to the challenge. “Everyone who stepped on the floor brought energy and made us better,” he said.
As one of the biggest games of the season, the players will look back on it for years to come. For Max, “the most memorable moment of the game was being introduced as a starter. Hearing my name introduced in front of all my friends and family is something special that I will never forget.”
Masks were required for the fans but not the players. COVID had an effect on the Patriot roster, but they persevered. Coach Goldburg is simply thankful for the opportunity to bring the young men together for one more season.
“It was a tough but fun environment against a very talented opponent. Our team did a great job focusing on each other and everything they could control. Their effort, attitude, and togetherness were awesome,” said Coach Goldburg.