Boys varsity basketball team falls to Sandy Spring in championship game


Coby Malkus, Dimensions

Boys varsity basketball players Todd Lazoff and Jonah Gross run down the court to get back on defense. In an intense game, the Lions lost to Sandy Spring for the championship.

Nini Panner, Reporter

Saturday night ended in tears for many after the varsity boys basketball team lost 35-48 in a tough game against the Sandy Springs Friends School for the Potomac Valley Athletic Conference (PVAC) championship. 

Players were extremely emotional after the game, and Coach David McCloud summed it up, as all he could say was, “It was tough.” 

The game was fast-paced and aggressive with both teams racking up many fouls as players on both sides were pounded to the ground.

In the first couple minutes, senior and captain Eli Gordon hurt his finger and was taken out for the rest of the game to be sent to the emergency room. It was a big loss as Gordon is one of JDS’s key scoring threats. Sophomore Todd Lazoff noted the devastating effect of Gordon’s absence both on the court and the sideline. 

“Eli is really the energy of the team and the team captain,” Lazoff said. “We lost his presence and that really let us down.” 

Sophomore and team manager Sela Wertlieb attested to this fact and continued on to say that the Lions were not very favored to win.

“The game was an underdog moment from the start. We were third seed in the playoffs and Sandy Spring was number one and undefeated the whole season,” Wertlieb said. “… We could have had it but the game was disappointing.”

The Lions kept the game close through the first and second quarters and were only down by four at halftime. However, Gordon’s absence was felt in the second half when Sandy Spring pulled ahead of JDS, solidifying their lead for the rest of the game.

“We played really hard until the end but we got a lot of foul trouble at the end and overall it was a tough game,” Lazoff said.

Despite the result of the game, the fans were loud and kept high spirits the whole time. Math teacher Robert Shorr came sporting a poster celebrating the “√x^2 + y^2”, meaning number one, team. Shorr commended the Lions for their hard work.

“Obviously the result wasn’t as we’d hoped,” Shorr said. “But to see the spirit from all the fans and all the players, plus the sportsmanship towards the winning teams and their fans makes me proud to root for JDS.”

Although this was a disappointing loss for JDS, the athletes look forward to the next season ahead of them. 

“They’ve become more like a family and just developed as team players as well as individuals,” Wertlieb said.