Winter SPC Recap: Girls’ basketball finishes fourth, boys take 10th


Benny He

Junior captain Isaac Blue drives to the basket.

Afraaz Malick and Russell Li

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After girls’ basketball defeated Episcopal for the first time in six years on Feb. 1, they used the momentum to advance to the 2019 SPC Winter Championships in Fort Worth as the third seed.

Junior Eliza Holt, scoring 13 points, led the Mavericks to a 41-24 victory over Oakridge in the opening round. The team defeated Fort Worth Country Day 40-30 in the quarterfinals to secure a spot in the semifinals, where they lost to Kinkaid 47-22. The Mavericks finished fourth after a 39-24 loss to Houston Christian.

According to Holt, their increased confidence and toughness was a key factor for their success. This year, the team managed to “get over the hurdle” of passing the second round, where they had lost for the past two years.

This year was one of the first years that I felt that we could not only contend with and beat some of the top teams in our conference but that we actually were a top team,” Holt said.

Although many team members suffered season-limiting injuries, including a dislocated shoulder, a broken jaw and mononucleosis, the team refused to give up, according to freshman Lily Pesikoff.

Throughout the year, we had some of our starters out and so some people had to step up and go out on the floor to help us win,” Pesikoff said. “With the amount of injuries that occurred, it would have been really easy for our team to give and say ‘We’ll try again next year’, but we worked hard and persevered.”

The team managed to play well at SPC despite the injuries.

“All five seniors and two others were out for significant chunks of the season. We never had a single practice with everyone there,” Holt said. “Despite the injuries, we went 4-2 in SPC compared to the last two years where we went 2-4 and advanced a full round farther in SPC than usual.”

After boys’ basketball made history on Feb. 8, beating Kinkaid for the first time since 2014, they entered the 2019 SPC Winter Championships in Fort Worth as the third seed.

“Beating Kinkaid was a special moment for the team,” junior captain Isaac Blue said. “We had a strong and intense week of practice leading up to the game and executing down the stretch to secure the win felt great.”

Captain Genson Hooper-Price recalls the energetic atmosphere at the game, which he cites as one of his favorite memories at SJS.

“The atmosphere in the gym that Friday night was insane,” Hooper-Price said. “To be able to come out on top in front of all the students, faculty and parents was a huge morale booster for our team going into SPC.”

Although the team lost their first game 53-45 to Cistercian, they bounced back with a 41-39 victory over St. Andrew’s to land them in the consolation finals against Casady. In their final game, junior Charlie McGee led the Mavericks with 11 points. The team lost to Casady 56-35 for 10th place.

“We did not play the way we wanted to, and it’s extremely upsetting that we did not get the job done,” Blue said.

Blue hopes the team can improve on finding a way to execute next year, especially in tournament play. Although the ending of the season was disappointing for the players, members of the team still had some memorable moments.

“This year’s team was the closest team I’ve been on in all three of my years on varsity,” Hooper-Price said. “I loved coming to practice and getting better with these guys every single day, and our bond and love for each other really showed on the court. By the end of the season, all 15 guys were virtually inseparable.”