Boys Varsity Basketball’s Season Begins with a Bang

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Boys Varsity Basketball’s Season Begins with a Bang

Xavier Wilson ’19 shoots a jumpshot.

Xavier Wilson ’19 shoots a jumpshot.

Edward Guo ’19

Xavier Wilson ’19 shoots a jumpshot.

Edward Guo ’19

Edward Guo ’19

Xavier Wilson ’19 shoots a jumpshot.

The Boys Varsity Basketball team has started the season with an impressive record of 11-3, including an undefeated 5-0 record at home. Thanks to a combination of experienced returners and impactful new players, the team has enjoyed one of its best openings in recent years.

Heavy recruitment caused every starting lineup in last year’s team to consist of at least four first-year Hotchkiss players. Although the team ended the season last year with a successful 15-9 record, it had a slow start to the season, perhaps due to a lack of chemistry between members who were just beginning to learn how to play with each other.

This year’s team has exhibited a strong combination of team chemistry and explosive individual playmaking that has excited fans. Three-year team member Elijah Stone ’20 said, “This year, we’ve stepped up a lot in terms of resilience. Every team has bad games, but this year we’ve bounced back with a lot of energy instead of letting ourselves get complacent.” 

The energy and spirit have been a huge factor for the team thus far; herds of blue supporters have been more than happy to contribute when the team suits up at home. The packed court sides explode with energy every time Miles Brewster ’20 slams the ball into the hoop, Kyle Jenkins ’20 nails a key three-pointer, or Xavier Wilson ’19 muscles through defenders for an and-one. 

Part of the reason for the strong team chemistry is the seamless integration of new impact players. Wilson, a first-year player and starter, said, “As a team, we play as one family; all I [have] to do [is] fit in. [The] talented and smart players around me [make that very] easy.” 

This support, both from within the team itself and from its fans, has given the team an edge that Head Coach Yassine Talhaoui emphasizes as they continue to improve. However, even with recent successes, he notes that the team has yet to reach its peak. Coach Talhaoui said, “The goal is to play our best basketball in late February, not now. I’m trying to make sure we don’t get too excited about the recent success, because there is a lot more growth to be done.”

As the winter weeks fly by and the Boys Varsity Basketball team continues to deliver winning performances, students cannot help but join in the excitement that fills Fowle during every home game. 

The team is striving not only for immediate success but also seeks to create a sustainable program made up of players who follow the philosophy of the coaches. Four out of the five starters will be returning next year, which bodes well for the team’s future. With much of the talented team set to return, along with the likely introduction of new players, fans can expect competitive match-ups for years to come.