Boys Varsity Basketball Exceeds Expectations

by Tahmid Ahmed ’18

After catastrophically losing to Stuyvesant High School 47-27, the Boys Varsity team bounced back and exceeded expectations, finishing the season with a 9-9 record.

Although this year’s record was worse than last year’s record, it is still considered a huge accomplishment, since the team lost seven seniors from last year. The new 2017 team, mainly comprised of juniors, shows a promising future, despite losing three of its star seniors this year—Benjamin Flanagan, Adebayo Akindude, and Elias Outanine.

Tad Ye (#24) ’18 says “I see a bright future for the next upcoming season.”

Kenny Levi (#3) ’18 also has similar views, reflecting “I feel that our team had a successful season considering it was a rebuilding year with only three returning seniors.”

The team finished fourth in the Brooklyn A NW Division, three games behind Dr. Susan S. Mckinney School of Art. As the season progressed, the team improved vastly, beating opponents, such as Prospect Heights Campus and Fort Hamilton. In fact, Tech obliterated divisional rival Dr. Susan S. Mckinney School of Art on February 7. Tech won by 12 points, with a score of 71-59. The team captain, Benjamin Flanagan, scored more than half of Tech’s total points in the game, finishing with a season high of 43 points.

Kenneth Levy offered some of his thoughts, saying “My favorite memory was clutching playoffs by taking down Susan McKinney at home, which we had previously lost to.”

This win showed that Tech had the potential to possibly place third or higher in its division since it demolished a team that was at a higher standing.

However, it were nail-biting games that really hindered Tech throughout the season. For instance, five of Tech’s losses came from losses by five or fewer points. A major reason for these unfortunate endings was a matter of crucial turnovers in the final minutes.

In a game against number one-seeded Benjamin Banneker Academy on February 10, Tech was up for the most part of the game. However, during the last three minutes, Tech gave up a couple of points and committed costly turnovers that converted into points for the opposing team. Tech lost the game 56-58. 

This season was, at times, hard for many of the juniors and sophomores, since they never played basketball at the varsity level and were never exposed to varsity level defenses. Hopefully, though, the players can reflect back at what went wrong this season and seek strategies to improve for next season.

Some of the teammates are already inputting ideas for the future. Sean O’ Connell (#21) ‘19 says “Something I can take from this experience is the work I need to put in. This becomes a different level and shows you your weaknesses that you need to work on. There will be ups and downs for teams and individuals, but you need to be mentally prepared as games approach. Next year I hope we come back stronger and have a great year as the season flies by.”

Malachai Myers (#11) ‘18 also mentions, “What I can take from playing varsity is what it will take to be a dominant force next year. Putting in more work will be necessary to not only my personal success, but also in support of the team’s success.”

Tech displayed a variety of strengths throughout the season. One remarkable strength was Tech’s use of small ball. As a result, the team scored many threes, including 24 threes made by Benjamin Flanagan and 11 threes made by sophomore Sean O’Connell.

Sean O’Connell inputs, “As a sophomore, this season shows the different talent out there and the people you play with. Although the season ended bitterly, I have been blessed to play with seniors and rising juniors this season.”

The team also had strong rebounders, including Kwazema Abakporo, who averaged 10.611 rebounds per game.

Throughout the season, Tech has shown great teamwork on and off the court. Players would always pass up the ball to the open man and no player played arrogantly. There were essentially no “ball hogs” in the team.

Kenneth Levy mentions, “Despite some tough losses, we worked hard and played cohesively as a team. The season has brought the team together and made us closer, building our chemistry on and off the court.”

Tad Ye similarly says “It was either win together or lose together: there were no I’s.”

Sean O’Connell also mentions, “My favorite thing about this season is knowing who I’m always around, coaches that push me, teammates that always have my back, and my family. My teammates and I always push each other in practice and motivate each other. Outside of practice, we’re always having fun.”

Tech’s success in the regular season helped them earn a spot in the playoffs. During the playoffs, Tech unfortunately lost to Holcombe L. Rucker Campus with a final score of 75-59. It was a tough game as this was the first playoff game for many of the members. Despite the sad ending, the game served as a critical experience for the team.

Malachi Myers offers his views, saying “My favorite memory would have to be our playoff game in the Bronx because that was our highest point. We played hard and everyone played their game despite the loss.”

Overall, this season turned out to have a positive result and served as a significant learning experience.

Myers also has one final note for current Techies: “Come watch our games next year and shout out to our amazing managers!”

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