On Tuesday evening, the Hyde boys varsity basketball team matched up with local rival NYA. As a team, one of our mottos is “every game is important.” It helps us focus on the task at hand and stay level in victory or defeat. However, there are exceptions to the rule. Tuesday night’s game held a special place in our hearts because it was an event sponsored by coaches vs. cancer, a wonderful organization that has raised millions for cancer research and support across the nation. As the boys’ took the court for their warm-up, the pink laces in their shoes stood out…..This was a symbol that they chose to honor and represent the fight vs. cancer.
The Phoenix have enjoyed a fine run of success at home thus far this season. Going into Tuesday’s matchup, the Phoenix were 7-0 at home and had held all opponents under 40 points which is typically a recipe for success. The defensive energy and focus would continue. The Phoenix showed great energy in the early goings in both their zone and man to man defenses. A key theme of our season has been to help the helper or simply be there for your teammate if he gets beat. Timely rotations and steals allowed the phoenix to build a six point advantage going into the second quarter. In the second, the Phoenix offense began to click. We are in the beginning stages of learning how to play a motion offense and it has been a mixed bag thus far. Motion offenses cannot be scouted and rely on team play and constant movement. Despite the expected turnovers, The Phoenix played very well in the second quarter, scoring 17 points as a team. Senior point guard Antoine Montgomery poured in eight of his team high 14 in the quarter and junior forward Andrew Palermo played with great energy in the paint. At the half, the Phoenix led by 15.
NYA is a very well coached team and they responded to start the second half. Three 3 point field goals cut the Phoenix lead to 9 to start the fourth. Again, this was a good test for our team. Could we finish the game and take care of the basketball? The backcourt of Montgomery and senior Kiefer Cundy again proved to be excellent under pressure. The Phoenix closed out the game and built an eighteen point lead, defeating NYA 45-27.
The Phoenix were led by Montgomery, Palermo ( 8 points, 10 rebounds ) and Cundy ( 8 rebounds ). Cundy also led the Phoenix in hustle points, a new stat we keep complied of deflections, charges taken and offensive rebounds. As we say, take pride in the little things that win basketball games. Next up: home vs. Isleboro, tonight.