A Bittersweet Last Game for the Seniors
By John Kim
On Feb. 20, right before the whistle sounded to start the game, Northside College Prep Men’s Varsity Basketball team got ready for yet another game in its successful season. However, this time was a little different because it was the second to last game of the season and was the squad’s Senior Day game.. Prior to the tip off against Bulls College Prep, the senior day game began with an unusual introduction. As each of the four seniors -- Daniel O’Connor, Adv. 901, Campbell O’Conor, Adv. 903, Dino Konstantinidis, Adv. 908, and Ibrahim Adebayo, Av. 907 -- were introduced, they walked through the human tunnel with their parents, making it a sweet moment to remember.
In the first quarter, O’Conor won the tip off for the Mustangs. After a couple passes, the Mustangs assisted Konstantinidis as he scored a jump shot. The Mustangs went on to play very well in the first quarter, showing off good chemistry between the four seniors who have been playing together since freshman year. The quarter featured a couple of impressive plays, particularly when Adebayo tricked three Bulls players despite not scoring on the play. At the end of the quarter, the Mustangs had a five point lead against Bulls College Prep, 13-8.
The Mustangs did not slow down in the second quarter, widening their lead as they kept up their aggressive defense, leading to a couple of steals. The highlights of the quarter were the numerous offensive rebounds that O’Conor and Jonathan Newhall, Adv. 004, grabbed, leading to wide open jumpers. The game was halted when a Bulls player took a hard fall to the court during a rebound attempt, leading to multiple gasps in the crowd. Fortunately, however, the injury was not serious and the game resumed. With a late, unopposed run in the end of the quarter, the Mustangs went into the locker room with a 27-16 lead by halftime.
During halftime, Northside’s cheer team had an impressive performance and the poms team also took the opportunity to honor the seniors.
In the third quarter, the Mustangs started by riding on the momentum they had built from the first half of the game, scoring a few easy buckets and playing solid defense. Despite a slow start, the Mustangs still finished the quarter leading Bulls 32-31. As the fourth quarter started, the Mustangs seemed to get their momentum back with drives to the basket resulting in multiple free throws from O’Connor and Newhall. A Bulls player started getting hot from beyond the arc and despite a hard fought comeback, the Mustangs lost their senior night game 47-48. Regards to the team’s performance, Jack Vasilopoulos, Adv. 006, said, “This was just one of those games. We were just missing shots that we normally would’ve hit and also props to Bulls for a well played game. Despite the loss, I still feel that this season has been an awesome one full of memories with the seniors and we have no regrets.”
While the win surely would have made it better, regardless this was a game to remember for the Northside Men’s Basketball Team.