Phoenix Get Off to Quick Start
The Men’s Varsity basketball team sprung in to action last weekend, competing in the annual James Roman tournament. After a day of tryouts, the team only practiced together for two days, installing fundamental defenses and offenses. The team was excited and spirits were high in preparation for this year’s tournament.
In the first game of the tournament, the Phoenix faced a physical Hyde-Woodstock team. Woodstock’s press got the best of the Phoenix, however, strong effort by Tyquan Ekejiuba ’13 helped the Phoenix break the press and convert on offense. The Phoenix entered halftime down 34-20. The second half found Woodstock taking advantage of some Bath mistakes, maintaining their lead into the 4th quarter. The Phoenix refused to quit, but couldn’t dig themselves out of the hole Woodstock had put them in. The final score came to 64-44 in favor of Woodstock.
Despite falling to Woodstock, the team showed flashes of greatness sure to be seen over the course of this season. Ryan Cassidy ’13 had some nice baskets on strong moves to the hoop, totaling 10 points for the game. Wilson MacMillan ’14 and Talin Rowe ’14 brought great energy and worked hard on defense.
Waking up early for the first game on Saturday, the Phoenix faced Hebron Academy. Hebron came out strong in the first half and took a seven point lead into halftime. Coming out in the second half the Phoenix looked to improve upon their defensive performance in the first half, but some superb guard play from Hebron kept them leading late into the 4th quarter. The Phoenix chopped down their lead to 3 within the last 2 minutes of the game, however, the Lumberjacks sealed victory with some late free throws, bringing the final score to 70-66.
Offensively the Phoenix did some great things against Hebron, as Ryan Cassidy ’13, Jonah Alexander ’12, and Warsame Mohamed ’14 all scored in double figures. At the same time, some significant defensive flaws were exposed in this game, giving insight to the Phoenix for areas to work on in practice.
On Wednesday the Phoenix traveled to Bethel, Maine to take on Gould Academy. The Phoenix came out strong, and an overbearing defensive presence from Wilson MacMillan ’14, Talin Rowe ’14, and Warsame Mohamed ’14 created great offensive opportunities for the Phoenix. The Phoenix kept the pressure through the half and took a significant lead into halftime. The second half saw a variety of players get in the game and maintain the intensity. Nine Phoenix players scored on the afternoon and the Phoenix earned a nice team victory.
On Friday evening the Phoenix entered their first league contest of the season, traveling to Portland for a matchup with AR Gould. Both teams displayed visible excitement in preparation for the game and the energy in the building was palpable. The first quarter saw the Phoenix and the Bears exchanging buckets, however, some pressure defense from the Phoenix in the second quarter forced the Bears into turnovers. Jonah Alexander ’12 and Warsame Mohamed ’14 both scored multiple times in the quarter and a half court buzzer beater by Tyquan Ekejiuba ’13 put the Phoenix up 17 at halftime. The Phoenix brought their intensity into the second half, continuing to not provide the Bears with many scoring opportunities. The fourth quarter saw strong, composed play from Wilson MacMillan ’14 and Evander Lenardson ’14 and the Phoenix earned their first league victory of the season with a final score of 55-27.
Phoenix Varsity basketball has gotten off to a quick start this winter, with not many signs of slowing down until winter break. The team has two league contests next week at home and looks forward to playing in front of the home crowd. They have shown impressive growth so far this season, and will need to continue to have positive learning attitudes if they wish to reach their potential. The Phoenix will focus on defense and synergy this week in practice in preparation for their games and the season that lies ahead.