The Brooklyn Friends Boys JV Basketball team had a great season in the term of growth. A lot of guys who are playing at the JV level for the first time together showed both coaches that next season other teams will have to fear the roar of the panthers.
An overall record of 4-16 may just show that they won 4 games and lost 16 games, but that does not tell the whole story how the blue pride panthers fought through the whole season. With the majority of the roster coming from last years middle school basketball team, these players excelled higher than most expected. No matter what the score was teams could not keep the panthers from roaring and making their mark. The panthers would win their first game in their gym against local opponent Mary McDowell. Point guard Charlie S. scorched the net scoring a season and career high 36 points. The next team on the panthers plate was their first league game on the road against St. Ann’s. The home crowd was rough against the panthers but for three quarters the panthers stayed poised and played under control. The fourth quarter just seemed like the panthers lost that shooting touch they had in the previous quarters. The panthers ended up coming up just short, falling 51-55.
After those two early success’ injuries began to take over and plagued this young team, as the team would have a different starting lineup mostly every game, and on certain occasions suiting up only five or six players, but that never stopped the team from playing their hearts out. Freshman Charlie S.’s leadership, play making ability, and scoring versatility were key this season. Sophomore Tyler V. was a real leader on and off the court for this team, as well as the teams sharp shooter. Sophomore Henry J., one of the teams best on the ball defenders led the team in steals and always guarded the other teams best offensive player.
The panthers next wins wouldn’t come till the month of January where freshman big man Maalik D. made is presence known. In the month of January Maalik played both ends of the floor averaging 11.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks a game. Maalik’s first double double came in the panthers second win against Leman Prep. Maalik had 17 points and 12 rebounds, he also shot 50 percent from the free throw line.
Even with the struggling season the panthers still managed to capture the 7th seed in the playoffs, where they squared off with the number two seed Dwight. The panthers would fall to Dwight in the playoffs. Next season will be a season to look out for with Ben F. and Sam F. ability to rebound and push the break. Maalik D. and Issac Handy aggressive rebounding and shot blocking. Henry Jacobs lockdown defense and basketball IQ. Charlie H. and Sammy H.’s team defense and pesky on ball defense will make the panthers next year a team to be reckoned with. Blue Pride will once again take over next season.
The team was led by seventh grade point guard Miles B. who averaged 22.3 points per game and led the team in scoring in every game this season. Some of the other standouts were fellow seventh grader Chris K. Chris played power forward and center for us this season and was usually matched up against the biggest players on the opposing team. Eighth grader Peter H. was our starting shooting guard and back-up point guard. Peter brought knowledge of the system and a calm to the court. The starting small forward was seventh grader Cailean M. Cailean brought a deadly accuracy to the court from three point range and his defense improved immeasurably throughout the season. The final piece of the starting puzzle was eighth grader Matthew R. Matthew played center and power forward, and earned his way into the starting lineup by working so hard. Early in the season Matt was a reserve and through effort in rebounding, passing, and defending he made himself invaluable to the team.
Everyone on the team contributed and learned the game while gaining valuable playing time. We will look to continue the growth next season. Overall the team was consisted of mostly 7th graders, including three starters. I look forward to next year where we will have the opportunity to watch these young boys grow and become a force to be reckoned with. Blue Pride!! Go Panthers!!
Brooklyn Friends Girls Varsity basketball team had another very good season. In a rebuilding mode the team which returned only three players from the previous season had to make numerous changes and adjustments moving forward. They did have the services of five players who came up from the junior varsity squad, along with three newcomers and one sophomore player who did not play last year. After putting everything together the team did its very best and come up basically a basket short of making the playoffs.
Panthers started their 2013-14 campaign off with a thrilling double overtime 41-39 victory over non-league opponent UNIS. The energy and excitement from the home opener and indicated the potential for a solid season may lie ahead. The seniors were expected to anchor the team as captains Julia G. and Chloe B. brought along much needed experience along with fellow seniors Sarah M. and Aria C. who provided a solid base. Also returning junior Julia B. expected to be a big plus for the team and a presence on both ends of the court.
After a few early close road losses, BFS which lost to local rival St. Ann’s 34-28, new league opponent FASNY 34-30 (which BFS made a fierce comeback attempt) and Mary McDowell 32-28, the team went on a five game winning streak to let
the league know that we were back at competing at a high level and a team to be reckoned with. BFS was able to defeat league opponents Steiner, Garden, Churchill, BWL, and BRP. Going into the winter break which completed the first half of our season BFS found itself with an overall record of 6-3 record (5-1 in league play). The team was still making numerous adjustments as it was getting to know its young squad as well as dealing with multiple issues including injuries and players availability, etc.
The Middle Schools girls basketball had a fun and successful season. The young team, filled with many girls who had never played basketball before made a lot of great improvement during the season. The team was known around the league for its tenacious defense and great hustle. Many of our games came down to the last one or two minutes and were filled with thrilling moments and awesome displays of sportsmanship and hustle.
Eighth graders Maddie W. and Fiona B. used their height and athleticism to take control of the lane on offense and defense. They collected many rebounds each game and did a great job organizing the defense from the middle position.
Seventh grader Devon O. ran the point and brought great leadership and basketball experience to the team. Devon did a terrific job bringing the ball up the court and running our teams offense. Most importantly, Devon showed amazing hustle and athleticism on defense. She led the team in steals and was often seen cruising from coast to coast to sink a layup after a great defense play. Her energy was tremendous.
Seventh grader Dania L. was also a powerful force on defense. A highlight of the season was when Dania was assigned to cover St. Ann’s best player in a new defense implemented at halftime. Dania’s stellar defense and incredible hustle shut St. Ann’s and their best player down and helped BFS make a huge second half comeback!
Seventh graders Anna P., Janine S. and Isabelle J. also made many important contributions to the team.These versatile players could sink outside shots, snag rebounds, and play all over the court on defense. Hardworking and committed to improving, these girls made enormous progress during the season and will be great leaders on next year’s team.
We were also thrilled to welcome first-time players Milla S. and Violet G. to our team. Milla and Violet brought great enthusiasm and work ethic to the team and impressed everyone with their ability to pick up new skills and basketball concepts so quickly. Milla and Violet weren’t afraid to mix it up with much bigger and experienced girls and led the team in intimidating cheers. Their defense and hustle made a big difference in several of our wins.
Coaches Randall and Kristen were very impressed by how much progress the girls made during the season. At the beginning of the season many of the girls had never played in an organized basketball game; by the end of the season, however, they were shutting down teams with a fantastic full court press! The coaches had a great time working with this feisty, funny and hardworking team! Blue Pride Runs Deep!!