Boys and girls varsity basketball fall to Tigers in doubleheader



The boys and girls varsity basketball teams faced the Newton North Tigers on Friday, Jan. 6 at Newton North High School. Both teams fell to the Tigers, with the boys losing 65-28 and the girls losing 54-49. Both teams will play the Tigers again in the Schluntz Gym on Feb. 3.

The boys and girls varsity basketball teams faced their rival Newton North Tigers on Friday, Jan. 6 for a doubleheader at Newton North High School. Both teams fell to the Tigers, with the boys losing 65-28 and the girls losing 54-49.

The boys varsity game started at 4:30 p.m., and the ball went to the Tigers after the tipoff. The ball went back and forth between the teams until Tigers’ Tyler Randall scored a three-pointer for the first points of the game.

The Warriors struggled to maintain possession of the ball and the first quarter was plagued with turnovers. In contrast, the Tigers had great ball movement as they continuously passed the ball along the three-point line until they had a clear shot. At one moment, the Tigers had seven continuous passes and proceeded to put two points on the board.

Continuing into the second quarter, while the Warriors tried to be more aggressive and go straight to the hoop, they struggled with connecting passes. Boys varsity head coach Johnny Williams said to be successful, the team needs to play more cohesively as a team.


“As a team they’re not a collective. They aren’t together outside of basketball on the court. They wear the same uniforms, but outside of the court, they’re not friends in that sense, where they fight for each other,” Williams said.

The Warriors showed occasional sparks on defense when they capitalized on mistakes the Tigers made. Senior and guard Jaylen Haynes was able to put pressure on the Tigers and get the ball loose. He then swiftly went up to the hoop for a layup.

Sophomore and forward Alan Shi had a strong streak in the third quarter, getting rebounds and taking advantage of them. Haynes and junior and guard Zach Fagnan also added points for the Warriors.

The Warriors played the fourth quarter similarly to the other quarters and the game ultimately ended with a 65-28 win for the Tigers.

Williams said although the game outcome wasn’t what he and the team wanted, he sees a lot of promise in the team.

“We have some young guys that are willing to fight; we have some very good sophomores coming up that give us a lot of promise in the future,” Williams said.

The girls varsity game started right after the boys game at around 6:15 p.m.

The game started with senior and guard Margo Mattes immediately scoring two points, followed by a pass down to junior and forward Gigi McMahon and another layup. Quick passes happened multiple times throughout the game with McMahon able to score multiple shots this way.

The first quarter was a relatively low-scoring one, with both teams going up and down the court. Among play highlights was an easy spin from Mattes ending with a layup and multiple ball interceptions and steals by the Warriors.

Girls varsity assistant coach Kate Kennedy said that the Warriors came out into the first quarter with strong energy.

“I think we played really good defense in the first half. We moved the ball on offense, which is what we need to do to beat a team that’s at our level,” Kennedy said.

The Warriors ended up scoring more in the first quarter, ending with 13 points to the Tigers’ six.


The second quarter started with multiple shots from the Warriors and an excellent 3-pointer from senior and guard Faith Rothstein.

The quarter started to become hectic as both teams, but mostly the Warriors, began to foul. The Tigers capitalized on the nine Warrior fouls and made multiple free throws. This and the continuous back and forth on the court evened out the score, and the first half ended 25-24 for the Warriors.

As the second half began, Rothstein scored a layup, bringing the Warriors to 27 points. The Tigers then made a three-pointer, bringing them to 27 points and making the game tied. Around this time there was a visible shift in the game’s energy. With both teams scoring continuous points and tensions rising, the Warriors called a time-out.

Senior and guard Geanna Bryant said that she noticed a change in the team dynamic when the second half began.

“We were taking charges in the second half. I think we kind of fell off, we still had energy and stuff like that, but I think as time was going down and we were still down by a good amount, it was making it more difficult to stay motivated,” Bryant said.

The Tigers took the lead and ended up scoring and after an exchange of shots, the Warriors fouled the Tigers, letting the Tigers score twice with two free throws and take the lead. The third quarter ended with the Tigers up 40-36.

The fourth quarter was intense as the gap between the Warriors and the Tigers increased. The Warrior’s audience jeered at the game’s referees for their unfair calls that were aiding the Tigers in increasing their lead.

The Tigers fouled Mattes and she ended up shooting two shots, the second one of which was rebounded by Rothstein and put up.

The Warriors ended with less cohesive defense in the fourth quarter which, according to Kennedy, greatly affected the outcome of the game.


“We had a lot of fouls because we weren’t rebounding or boxing out and it hurt us. I think they made at least like 12 foul shots in the second half, and that was the difference of the game,” Kennedy said.

The last seconds of the game were tough as the Warriors attempted to foul to stop the clock and get points. Multiple shots were put up but the clock counted down with no hope for a win in sight, and the game ended 54-49 for the Tigers.

Kennedy said that the Warriors will work on rebounds and other skills during practice.

“I think we need to work on boxing out and rebounding,” Kennedy said. “If we work on those two things, we’ll see a lot of progress and a difference when we play them at home which will be fun.”

The boys and girls teams will play the Tigers again at home in the Schluntz gym on Feb. 3, at 4:30 and 6 p.m., respectively.