The Lion's Tale

Middle school boys astound in dominating win against WIS

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Middle school boys astound in dominating win against WIS

CESJDS eighth-grader and team co-captain David Fritz faces off against two WIS defenders making a jump shot.

CESJDS eighth-grader and team co-captain David Fritz faces off against two WIS defenders making a jump shot.

photo courtesy of Naomi Gould

CESJDS eighth-grader and team co-captain David Fritz faces off against two WIS defenders making a jump shot.

photo courtesy of Naomi Gould

photo courtesy of Naomi Gould

CESJDS eighth-grader and team co-captain David Fritz faces off against two WIS defenders making a jump shot.

Naomi Gould, Guest Writer

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Three minutes into the game, the Lions had no answer to the Washington International School Red Devils’ eight points until CESJDS eighth-grader and captain Jonah Gross dribbled the ball around two defenders, spun around and hooked in a shot to break the shutout. The Lions didn’t look back.

The game ended 53-15 Lions, who never fell behind after pulling ahead at the start of the second quarter, giving them an undefeated record of 2-0.

The Lions’ aggressive play that started with Gross and teammates seventh-grader Todd Lazoff and eighth-grader Benjamin Bass was crucial to tying the game. The Red Devils had opportunities to score through foul shots because of the Lions’ tenacity but missed all but the one that gave them a 9-8 lead at the end of the quarter.

The aggressiveness meant fouls and turnovers for the Lions but also great defensive presses that the Red Devils couldn’t break, allowing the Lions to steal and score more.

Eighth-grader Seth Pearce stood out at the start of the second quarter, hustling to force a turnover and later rebounding what would be a jump ball.  A series of three-pointers from eighth-grader Itai Gutman and seventh-grader Itai Topolosky helped make it 27-11 JDS at the half.

Gross returned in the third quarter after injuring himself by awkwardly landing a missed jump shot and worked with his team to massively expand their lead. WIS only scored twice in the entire half, ending it at 53-15.

Coming back strong from early shutouts appears to be an early-season trend as the Lions started their last game against McLean 7-0 before coming back to win 44-36.

“We need to play better at the beginning of the game to set the tone,” eighth-grader and captain David Fritz said. With 12 points, Fritz was the game’s highest scorer.

The Lions went 5-5 last year, but coach Brad Pinchback believes that they can go far this year. So far, the Lions have improved in numbers, athleticism and the reliability of all teammates to sink their shots.

Gross attributes their success to their attitude coming into the game. He said, “I think it was our confidence …  and [that we] knew that we could play well.”

Pinchback thinks that this stems from the leadership of the captains and praised Gross and Fritz.

“They played well, and, more importantly, they led well,” Pinchback said.

The Lions will attempt to bring this energy and confidence to St. Anselm’s today, one of the best teams in the league.

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