Junior varsity defeats Spencerville at home


Ella Arking

Sophomore Benji Kushner goes up for a shot against Spencerville.

Sadaf Zadeh and Tyler Portnoy

The JV basketball team started off strong in their game against the Spencerville Hornets with a tipoff win along with two quick free throw points and they didn’t let up from there. Wednesday’s home game was an exhilarating 39-24 win for the Lions.

The Lions established and maintained an early lead and finished the first half up 21-11. The scoring came from a wide variety of players as the Lion’s passing was sharp throughout the half. Sophomore Avi Friedrich credited the strong start to the team’s energy.

“I think just the strategy of just being sure to be loud and just bring your energy because the game is not going to be loud when you’re out of practice, especially with the playoffs coming up soon,” Friedrich said. 

The Lions continued to grow their lead in the second half, and while the Hornets came back towards the end of the fourth quarter, the JV basketball team was able to hold on and win. Although this defeat brought their conference record to 4-2, the team is not complacent.

Freshman Matty Stillman, who scored a total of nine points, thought that while their overall performance on Wednesday night was good, there was still room for improvement.

“I think just our defense overall, could have been a little bit better,” Stillman said. “…But I think as a whole we played one of our best games of the year.”

Head coach Mikhail Leybo was proud of the players’ offensive and defensive discipline during the tough stretch towards the end of the game and says he hopes they can carry that momentum with them into future games. But Leybo still acknowledges that the team has things to work on.

“They’re working really hard in practice and in games,” Leybo said. “Again, we’ve struggled to translate a lot of this stuff [from practice, into games] as a team, but the steps are coming along slowly.”

Overall, the Lions were able to show off their skills on the court while maintaining communication with each other, which is something they are continually working on, especially with the playoffs approaching.

“No one’s perfect and it’s all about learning…” Friedrich said. “We’re all friends with each other. It’s a good community to be around and fun to play with each other.”