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The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

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Aviv Stein
Selena Bricker shoots free throws in the third quarter. Bricker had a great night with 11 points and a large impact defensively against WIS.

Even though middle school girls basketball coach Brett Kugler did not coach last year, it looked like his team had not skipped a beat in their game against the Washington International School Red Devils on Wednesday, Dec. 14. 

The CESJDS Lions, led by seventh-grader Selena Bricker’s 11 points, won at home 24-15. Using a two-three zone on defense, the Lions focused on trapping the ball handler and forcing turnovers.

Bricker was scoring throughout the game, and it was clear she was the leader of the Lions. While Bricker was on the team last year, her level of play has drastically improved this year. 

“Last year, I was very scared a lot, and I was afraid to shoot when people were there,” Bricker said. “I think that my aggressiveness has definitely improved.”

The Lions came out roaring with an and-one basket from Bricker, taking the early lead 3-0. With two blocks from eighth graders Selma Teichman and Allison Fellner and more scoring from JDS, the score was 9-2. By the end of the first quarter, though, the Red Devils kept it close by hitting a buzzer-beating 3-point shot, ending the quarter 9-5 Lions. 

The second quarter quickly started with another Bricker basket using the play “Yam Suf” to inbound the ball. Kugler implemented the play during his coaching career earlier at JDS. The play consists of the players lining up in a single-file line. When the player inbounding the ball says “break,” the players split into opposite directions, hoping to generate an open look at the basket, which is exactly what they did against the Red Devils. The first half ended 15-7. 

The Lions were up for the entire third quarter, not allowing any scores from WIS, ending the quarter 19-7. In the fourth, WIS began a run scoring eight points. This wasn’t enough to win, though, thanks to six second-half points from seventh-grader Reina Rothman. Paired with defense and rebounding from Teichman, the Lions came away with the win 24-15.

“It was Reina’s best game of her JDS middle school career. So it was fun to see her,” assistant coach Guy Koren said. “I was very happy for her that she was able to get six points in a game where we scored 24. That’s significant.”

Kugler was pleased with the team’s performance so far this season. The team’s record is 3-5 as of Dec. 20.

“Right now we’re at a good point as to where we were a few weeks ago, and in a few weeks, I hope we’re a little bit better,” Kugler said. “And in another few weeks, I hope we’re playing in the playoffs for a shot at the championship.”

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    AndrewDec 24, 2023 at 10:50 pm

    I agree, go Lions!