Boys Basketball scores big win on senior night

Eagles claim Feb. 16 victory over Foreman, 60-55


Carter Frye '19

David Calloway ‘18 squares up on defense against Foreman late in the second quarter

To most players, senior night is something special: player posters cover the back wall, the stands are packed without a seat to spare, and for one night, the entire school gets to stand behind a group of five that has left an immense impact on the basketball program.

It’s a game a player looks forward to starting his or her freshman year. A game that is built up to with four years of hard work, hustle, and extra time in the gym; full of emotion, intensity, and of course, lots of fun.

Michael Keller ‘18 believes that senior night is the most important game of the year.

“With everyone here, this big of a crowd, my friends and family, it’s just amazing to have everyone cheering me on,” he said.

In front of the largest crowd the Eagle’s Nest has seen all year, the Boys Varsity Basketball team battled against the Foreman Hornets on Feb. 16 and secured a close win on senior night 60-55.

The evening began with a performance from the Cheer and Dance teams. The two groups then each held a ceremony to honor their own seniors that included quotes from friends and coaches alike before the basketball festivities began.

As the cheer squad lined up at the gym entrance, the soon-to-graduate seniors, with family at their side, walked through one-by-one on their way to meet coach Jarard Nathaniel at half court. There, while posing for pictures, the players received large, framed pictures of themselves in their basketball uniforms, as a reminder of the tightly knit brotherhood they were once a part of at 700 South State.

To all of the current seniors on the team, this game is the most important game of the year, and maybe the most important of their entire high school career.

“All four years have built up to this game. It means a lot,” said guard Jude McCarthy ‘18 after the game. “I always tried my best to push my teammates and make them better and I hope that all showed tonight.”

With the seniors trying to mentally prepare for the big game, the rest of the team has very important jobs to do.

Guard Stefan Rosich ‘19 says that their job is to “make sure everything is organized, relax, and have fun watching some of the team play in their big game.” He also pointed out that next year the team will be much different and will miss a lot of what the soon-to-be graduates brought to the table.

“We will be missing a lot of leaders and people who are role models to us. From the food, pregame meetings, jokes on the bus, and advice, the seniors gave a lot to us off the court and it will be missed next year,” said Rosich before the game.

While some players left an impact on the basketball program, the program also left an impact on some Eagles. Forward Stephen Egresits ‘18, who scored 24 points in the game, says that Jones basketball made his game more “disciplined” while sharpshooter Hunter Walder ‘18 says that “it built a lot of character and mental toughness.”

From the start of the night all the way to the finish, smiles always seemed to be on the seniors’ faces. All five seniors started and played most of the first and third quarters. Full of flashy passes, deep jumpshots, and a few difficult “and-ones”, this game was very entertaining and fast-paced; but also a bit sloppy. Although unsuccessful, toward the end, with the game in hand, a few of the players even tried a full court give-and-go to try and get a last second dunk from Egresits.

However, Foreman also played somewhat sloppily, keeping Jones in the game. Both teams combined for a large amount of turnovers in the first half, with the Eagles holding a ten point lead at the break.

Jones held a double digit lead for most of the game, however it never seemed that the Hornets were out of the game. To start the second half, two quick threes got them right back into the game down by only four. From that point on, no lead was safe.

The Eagles pulled it out in the end, thanks to a couple late baskets from Egresits. The senior night victory ended a two game skid for the varsity squad. The Eagles play their final two games of the year at De La Salle and against Schurz to wrap up the season.