Love & Basketball


Dennis Dunathan

Senior Tre Mitchell finishig an and-one layup in the fourth quarter.

Chase Carty, Staff Writer

     We all know and love (or hate) Valentine’s Day, the joyous holiday that’s chock full of pink construction paper, corny rom-com cliches, and PDA, but we have more important things to talk about… the boys’ basketball team just secured their 21st consecutive win last night against Northwood.  

   The Hornets’ 2022-23 season remains perfect, as they extended their record to 21-0 (including tournament games) with a 40-point blowout against the Northwood Gladiators last night.

   The first half was a rough one, and they ended the second quarter with five consecutive missed shots and allowed Northwood to go on a 7-0 run to bring the lead within single digits.

   Perhaps Coach Humphrey and his coaching staff threatened the team with extra running drills during their halftime speech, as the boys proceeded to score 41 of their 70 points in the second half, along with forcing a plethora of turnovers via their swarming half-court trap.

   This defensive scheme resulted in six consecutive turnovers and seven consecutive minutes of scoreless basketball for the Gladiators. Seniors Michael Baskerville and Peter Mangan collectively nabbed seven steals, pestering Northwood’s backcourt players every time they crossed the half court line.

   Following these steals were fastbreak buckets by a number of players, most notably a buzzer-beating three-pointer from the right wing by junior guard Menalik Berhanu-McBride at the end of the third quarter. This triple was crucial, as it helped carry the momentum from the third quarter over to the fourth.  

   Speaking of three pointers, Mangan sank six of his eight 3-point attempts with three 3s in both halves. Mangan led the team in triples, but he wasn’t the only contributor to the three-pointers made column, as fellow senior Joey Lutz made two triples of his own, along with Berhanu-McBride’s previously mentioned buzzer-beater. Twenty-seven of the Hornets’ points came from beyond the arc, nearly 39% of the team’s total points, but the Hornets were equally as dominant on the interior.

   Senior center Conor Shiflett accounted for six of the team’s 20 offensive rebounds, half of these rebounds were followed by second chance points. Shiflett ended the game with 12 points, 7 boards, and 2 blocks on 54% shooting. Fellow seniors Baskerville, Timmy Zalewski and Dillon Dunathan all pitched in with three offensive boards a piece.

   Their interior defense was just as impressive as their offense. This was evident in the second half when Northwood seemingly gave up on driving to the paint, as nearly all of their shot attempts came from at least 20 feet, and judging by the score, they didn’t make very many of them. 

   This Friday, The Hornets are off to Bethesda where they’ll take on the 10-10 Walter Johnson Wildcats for the final game of the regular season. They’re likely to complete the regular season with a perfect record of 20-0, and they’ll hopefully proceed to secure their first state championship since 1949.