Varsity Boys Basketball Plays Winning Game on New Gym Floor


photo courtesy of A. Zhao

Matt Maribojoc warms up prior to the team’s 12/8 winning game

Madeline Old, Staff Writer

The Varsity Boys Basketball team has helped break in the new gym with a victory over Yorktown High. On the evening of December 8th, Jefferson fans on the sidelines cheered the team to win 35-34.

“When our fans, the Monticello Maniacs, show up, they make a huge difference in the outcome of the games we have in our house. Any time those kids see their friends in the stands, it gives them a boost of energy that is palpable. On Tuesday, it definitely made a difference in the outcome of the game,” Head Coach Gray-Mendes said.

In past years, the gym floor has been slippery and difficult to get traction on. The new floor is closer to what other schools have, but it’s not the type of floor that makes the difference. “The new gym has a whole different atmosphere- the logo in the middle of the floor, brighter lights. A nicer setup makes you play with more pride. It was a pretty fun experience,” Junior Matt Jennings said.

Yorktown is a familiar opponent for Jefferson’s team, but this year they have a new coach, which presented challenges on both sides. “It was a challenge for us to be prepared for what they were bringing to the table, and there’s been an adjustment period for them as they learn how to do the things the new coach is asking them to do,” Gray-Mendes said.

Since the team wasn’t sure what to expect from their opponent, they focused on strengthening themselves. “Our defense was outstanding. It was probably the best defensive game that we’ve played in the six years that I’ve been the head coach and that’s always really special,” Gray-Mendes said. “It takes a lot of pride and a lot of individual hard work to be a good man-to-man team, and that’s what we did Tuesday night almost exclusively.”

All the team’s hard work and practice, which is every day of the week except Sunday, came together. “We basically controlled the game from the beginning. I don’t think we were down at any point; we did a good job of sitting on them and not letting them catch up on the scoreboard,” Jennings said.