Basketball season opening with a bang



Peter Shi (11) looks for an open man to pass the ball to during the first game of the season at Christian Brothers. The final score was 56 vs. 47 and the Spartans were defeated by the Purple Wave.

Assistant coach Quinton Johnson coaches the junior varsity team against Christian Brothers on their very first game on November 15th, 2022. (JOSHUA WHITE//USED WITH PERMISSION)

Every afternoon, at 1:25 p.m., the squeal of sneakers and whistles engulf the gym as the basketball team files onto the court for practice. This year, the team is pursuing a place in state tournaments and improving their reputation.

The student section showed great support to the football team earlier this year and many plan on attending more sport events to show their school spirit. 

“I go to basketball games to support my friend Porter [Kelly (12)], and not just him but the whole team because I’m all about school spirit, and I just love going out to support anyone, any chance I get,” Ben Turner (12) said.

The team has dedicated themselves by practicing early in the morning during the school year and summer break. While most students take this time to take a break from sports and spend more time with family and friends, the basketball team realized the work they put in now could make remarkable achievements. 

“[During the summer] we did a lot of conditioning, lifting, shooting around, running through places,” Jasper Bell (11) said. “[The team showed] dedication by being there at practices early, running hard, playing hard, and just not giving up but showing effort.’’

Each practice, game and tournament has brought the team closer than ever. Although the team holds many talented players, the importance of teamwork prevails as they depend on and challenge each other. Players connect on and off the court in order to elevate their performance, whether they are practicing drills together or meeting outside of school.   

“I feel like we are in a great position and since we have a lot of team chemistry, it should be [a] fun [season],” Bell said.

The first game at Christian Brothers High School against the Purple Wave on Nov. 15 was a thrilling season opener. The students, once again, came out and filled the stands. The Spartans varsity team was defeated 56 to 47 by the final round.

“The student section came out and brought the energy [and] the team played great,” Turner said. “Even though we didn’t secure the win, we still fought hard [and] White Station brought [real big] energy out.”

The hard work players exhibited in after-school practices and their previous years of playing basketball is demonstrated at games as they speed through the court and effortlessly perform different plays.

“I would say Porter Kelly and Kody [Hickerson (11)] and Marcus [Crawford (12)] got a lot better playing together as a team, [got] faster, and [got] definitely stronger,” Turner said.

Sadly, shooting guard Stevlyn Morris (11) tore his achilles tendon during warm-ups for the first game. His daily basketball practices are now replaced with hospital visits and doctor appointments, but he continues to support his team and remains optimistic about the season.

 “[The pain] is not too bad when I’m not moving but [when I’m] walking around [even for a] minute, it hurts [but] I’m handling it pretty good,” Morris said. “I’m just thinking about the positive.”

Despite the shortcomings the team has faced, players, students and coaches look forward to a successful remaining season. The team will play a total of 20 games both away and at the Spartan Palace.

“Winning, making shots, and the energy from the team [and] everybody in the crowd makes the basketball games much more fun,” Bell said.