Seniors take charge: The Boys’ Varsity Basketball team working out early tribulations

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With the Townsend Harris boys’ varsity basketball team losing previous seniors, the team hopes to rebuild by training younger prospects. This means that the current seniors are not stepping away from the challenge of leading the team as they plan on working with the new recruits throughout the season.

Last year, the team played 16 games and held a record of 6-10. Although this record was not enough for the team to become playoff contenders, they are all hopeful for a much more successful year. The team has lost previous seniors Boris Akbashev, Nicholas Corrado, D’Vonte Davis, Jayvon Judge, Jonathan Mea, and Benson Yunatanov. Their strong leadership and encouragement have passed on to current seniors, including Kunchaka Fonseka, Dillon Cortes, and Ryan Yavinsky.

Dillon said, “As one of the co-captains, I will lead by performance and by motivating the other guys to play at their best so we are ready for anything in this season.”

“Last year we were so reliant on the seniors, but now the other players are gaining chemistry with one another,” Ryan explained. “This is one of the main ways in which I personally work with the younger guys. What we need to work on is moving the ball and opening up the court while also staying out of foul trouble and hitting key free throws late in games.” Using this chemistry and trust in each other’s game, the team is pushing past these early adversities and has plans on improving their game as the season progresses.

After playing scrimmages against Cathedral High School and The Baccalaureate School for Global Education, the team has been working on improving several flaws in their game. “Whether it was teaming up in practice in 3×3 or just talking on the bench during the game analyzing the plays of both teams, we found that we all became closer,” Ryan added. “I believe that this team has more depth than ever before and we need to hone this in if we are going to make playoffs, allowing younger guys to get more minutes and overall experience.”

The team played one non-league game against Aviation High School, which allowed for the seniors to exhibit their leadership. The team has also played two official league games and had a record of 1-2 after Queens High School of Inquiry forfeited in their third game.  The team lost their first two games against schools Robert F. Kennedy and Cambria Heights Academy. With a score of 42-46 against Robert F. Kennedy, the Hawks came close to winning, but could not hit many shots from distance. The team hit only one three, something that seldom occurs because of the their depth. Many of the boys say that they were disappointed with the results, but know that they can improve.

“The loss was a tough one but it just shows that we need to improve our whole game since our shots might not always be falling,” said team member and sophomore Jahdon Jerome.

In the second game of the season, the Hawks were still underperforming,  losing an away game to Cambria Heights Academy with a score of 67-29. This was a performance that demonstrated the team’s biggest weaknesses and “will be a constant reminder that we can be blown out if we don’t play our style of basketball,” commented sophomore Andrew Williams. He also went on to say, “Our seniors who normally take charge were not nearly as vocal as they normally were. We could not bring the ball up the court and kept turning the ball over, showing the lack of experience in our team.”

Despite these losses, “we know that we need to take it one game at a time, especially because we are a young team that needs to build more chemistry,” said Ryan.

Some upcoming schools the Boys Varsity Team will be playing against are the East-West School of International Studies, York Early College Academy and The Scholars Academy. Be sure to support the guys as they endure the hardships of this season by attending their home games.