Varsity Men’s Basketball Brings it Home for Homecoming Matchup
by Cristian Trandafir
While other high schools typically host their Homecoming during football season, because of its lack of a football team, Northside has the privilege of hosting their own Homecoming during basketball season. The varsity men’s basketball team started the season off with a six game winning streak, but lost their toughest challenge in a game against the Lane Tech Indians. The Mustangs brought it back on Wednesday, Jan. 10, however, when they played and beat the Chicago Academy Cougars for their annual Homecoming game.
The Mustangs won the tip off, but failed to utilize their possession of the ball during the opening minutes of the game. The Cougars played solid defense against the offensive front of Benjamin Morris, Adv. 807, and Benjamin Rosengard, Adv. 803. The rest of the Mustangs’ starting lineup followed suit, and used their press to keep the Cougars at bay. Halfway through the first quarter, Rosengard then hit the first successful shot of the game - a baseline three-pointer.
With Northside’s spectators cheering wildly, the game took a sharp turn in the last portion of the first quarter. The Cougars, trying to pick up the pace offensively switched, battled fiercely for possession of the ball. More points were scored by Rosengard and Morris, as well as by Charlie Guthmann, Adv. 800, and Campbell O’Conor, 903. Despite this, the quarter finished with the Cougars ahead of the Mustangs by a point. “It was essentially a tie,” Rosengard said after the game. “Being down one point worried the crowd more than it worried the team.”
Rosengard’s words would ring true at the start of the second quarter, as the Mustangs scored twelve straight points. Daniel O’Connor, Adv. 901, was sprinting left and right on the court, consistently outpacing the Cougars’ defense. Quick offensive passes between Morris and Rosengard resulted in easy baskets for the Mustangs. When the Mustangs finally missed a shot, the Cougars tried to climb their way back into the game. The cheering continued during the performance from the poms team at halftime. Cheer also put on a show, display of its members’ acrobatic skills with team members reciting chants, while others did flips and cartwheels.
The last two quarters began with the starting lineup on the bench, allowing other players on the team to get some playing time. The seniors were subbed in first: Zayd Chishti, Adv. 803, and Jadd Oweimrin, Adv. 803. They were able to carry on and play with the same energy as the starting lineup. In the final quarter, the juniors were subbed in and also got a chance to play. Ibrahim Adebayo, Adv. 907, was very eager to play. “I was excited because I finally got to show off my skills,” he said. Adebayo hit one three-pointer shortly after being subbed in.
With the future varsity lineup playing on the court, the matchup reached a conclusion. Although the Cougars were very motivated and played their hearts out, the Mustangs came out with a 51-38 victory. With the spectators pleased, the win served as a great addition to Spirit Week, exciting Northsiders for the Homecoming Dance on Jan. 19.