By Jesse Grossman ‘15
In the interest of full disclosure, Jesse Grossman plays for the Varsity Boys’ Basketball team.
After a successful regular season and a one-point win in the first round of the playoffs, the Boys’ Varsity Basketball team’s quest for the city championship ended as they lost to Bedford Academy on March 4.
“We had a great season. We all played our part on and off the court, it all started from our first team practice,” said shooting guard Jean Hercule ’16. There was no doubt that we went hard in practice and had fun in games.”
The boys finished the regular season with a record of 16 wins and 6 losses. One loss at Lafayette in the last seconds of the game, on the last day of the season, cost the team the division title and a chance at the Brooklyn Borough Championship.
“It was disappointing to lose the division at the buzzer, but it motivated us for the playoffs,” said center Markos Plimakis ’15.
Even with the late season loss, the boys achieved the 19 seed in the PSAL A division playoffs and had a first round game against Evander Childs Campus in the Bronx. Although it was a long way to travel-a mere 43 train stops-the boys pulled out the one-point win.
“We executed our game plan very well. We were all locked in mentally on defense which helped us control the game and make the opposing team play how we wanted them to,” said forward Kahlil Foreman ’14.
The team controlled the tempo of the game from the start scoring within five seconds of the opening tip. They remained consistent and forward Delen Ramovic ’14 hit a shot at the buzzer of the first quarter to give the Hornets major momentum. For the rest of the game, Evander had to catch up and managed to within the last minutes but consistent free throw shooting from Herucle, shooting guard Jesse Grossman ’15, and point guard Isaiah Wilson ’14 closed the game out. “We played great in a really tough atmosphere. It was a great team win because every player stepped up and contributed,” said head coach Victor Gjecaj.
Ramovic had 21 points, Foreman had 12 points and 14 rebounds, and Hercule finished with 13 points including a clutch 6-8 from the free throw line.
The first round victory had the boys into second round slated to play against rival Bedford Academy. This was a matchup that the team wanted after losing their first scrimmage of the season to Bedford back in November.
However, revenge was not served as Bedford had a strong first half hitting their outside shots and forcing turnovers. They took a 41-28 lead into halftime. In a role reversal of the first round, the Hornets played the second half from behind and in the third quarter came within four points but that was the closest they would get.
“We played a really good team and they came out hitting all their shots and we got behind early,” said coach Gjecaj. “We made some adjustments but coming back takes so much energy that we were depleted.”
The team was led by three returning seniors: Ramovic, Wilson, and Foreman. Ramovic was selected to play for the Mayor’s Cup, the PSAL’s all-star game. He averaged 25 points a game and had a game in which he scored 48 at Franklin Roosevelt High School. The small forward has received a few Division 1 scholarship offers but has not made any commitments yet.
Ramovic said, “It’s a great accomplishment and I’m excited to play in the Mayor’s Cup. Hard work pays off.”
This season marked a second straight year that the Hornets made it to the second round. However, next year’s team will look to make it further into the playoffs. The team will be made up of four or five returning players and a few new players coming up from the JV team.
“Next year’s team has lots of talent and potential,” said Hercule. “We will be filled with charisma and basketball experience so we can try to bring the championship back to Midwood where it belongs.”
By Jesse Grossman ‘15