In the Face of A Grizzly
Brentwood’s Senior Boys Basketball team is having an excellent season. Coming off a sixth place finish in the highly-competitive Abby Snowball Tournament last week, the team was hungry to avenge their two losses against some of the province’s best 4A teams. Fortunately for them, they would get a chance to take out their anger at their Showcase Game on Thursday in the Woodward Sportsplex gym.
They were matched up against the G.W Graham Grizzlies, a team they had beaten in December at Graham’s tournament. This game was set to be exciting as it was a matchup between the #1 and #2 ranked teams in 2A, with Brentwood being ranked first. On the night of the game, the bleachers were a sea of red. The energy was through the roof; Brentwood students and teachers alike were extremely excited to see their team play.
The first quarter was a struggle for both teams. Both squads exchanged shots for the first two minutes, yet the score remained 0-0. Eventually, Graham got into a groove, going up 14-6 with 2 minutes left in the quarter. Brentwood’s reserves responded well to the run, highlighted by Will N’s, Ellis ‘18 putback layup following a missed free throw. Brentwood would then go on a 13-0 run extending into the second quarter to put them up 19-14. The second period was a very back-and-forth quarter ending in a tie game going into halftime.
In the locker room, Coach Gage emphasized that the team needed to be more committed on the defensive end and rebound better. Brentwood came out of the break with a new intensity on defense, doing all they could to shut down their opponents and attacking the glass much harder. On offense, the team was much more poised and calm, being more patient and getting better shots. Brentwood got a huge boost off the bench from Johnny M, Ellis ‘18 with his scoring and rebounding. Graham briefly took a four-point lead late in the third, but once again, Brentwood responded and finished the quarter with a three-point advantage.
With the fate of the game still in the balance, the gym was boisterous. Players could barely hear their coaches in timeouts. The final period was intense to say the least; the two best teams in the province duking it out in front of an amazing crowd.
Brentwood’s players fed off the crowd’s energy; the team’s defensive pressure increased, turning over the Grizzlies and leading to easy fastbreak points. In the halfcourt, Brentwood shut down Graham’s key players, drawing several charges down the stretch that made their opponents scared to go into the paint. After an and-one by Casper P, Whittall ‘18 with 30 seconds left, the game was essentially over. The final score was 77-64.
Fans stormed the court to congratulate their team. Johnny M and Bruno C, Whittall ‘18 led Brentwood with 14 points each; Johnny also added nine rebounds while Bruno had three steals. Captain Aaron S, Rogers ‘17 added 13 points and 7 assists to the winning effort.
The team is very pleased with the result of the game, but more excited to have played such a huge game in front of their home fans. They hope the atmosphere can be recreated next week when they host their own tournament and when they host Islands in February.
Huge shoutout to the SAC Hype Squad led by Nick H, Ellis ‘18 and Sarah F, Mackenzie ‘17, as well as the notorious Brian’s Boys. We hope to see you all in the stands next week!
Olamide O, Privett ‘18