Freshman Boys Basketball start season with a loss to Mount Vernon

Justin Chang, Staff Writer

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  • Tightly guarded by the defender and nowhere to pass to, starting point guard Ian Gresenz drives in for a layup. After the losing their early lead in the first quarter, the team was determined to put Jefferson back in the lead.

  • Starting point guard Ian Gresenz dribbles around the defender, looking either to drive for a layup or to pass the ball. Although the team strongly emphasized on passing, head coach Jake Boltersdorf and several players admitted to the lack of communication as turnovers were frequent throughout the game.

  • Fiercely guarded by the defender and with the shot clock running down, starting point guard Ian Gresenz defends the ball against the opponent and desperately looks to pass the ball. The game was fierce and competitive, as both the teams from Jefferson and Mount Vernon were looking for their first win of the season.

  • Freshman Aarya Patel defends the ball against the opponent, looking to pass the ball to center Caden Phillips. The team emphasized on passing and moving the ball around, as passing drills were frequent in the team’s warm-up before the game.

  • Freshman Austin Kim shoots the ball during the team’s warm-up before the game against Mount Vernon. The team practiced 30 minutes before the game as head coach Jake Boltersdorf emphasized the importance of practice and learning the team’s offensive plans.

  • Driving in for a layup, starting center Caden Phillips warms up with the team before the game against Mount Vernon. The team practiced a variety of layups and shooting drills, all part of Jake Boltersdorf offensive plans.

  • Down 11-13 in the second quarter, freshman Spandan Das shoots the ball hoping to tie up the game at 13-13. Jefferson looked to regain the lead they had in the beginning of the first quarter, but failed to do so.

  • With 51 seconds remaining in the second quarter, Freshman Aarya Patel drives in for a layup despite being tightly guarded by 2 defenders. Although down by 11 points in the second quarter, the team hustled for the ball and played aggressively throughout the game.

  • Leading the game in the first quarter 8-2, Freshman Jaatani Abdi shoots the ball. The team dominated the game at beginning of the first quarter before quickly losing the lead within minutes.

  • Leading the game in the first quarter 8-7, starting point guard Ian Gresenz drives and then shoots the ball hoping to increase the team’s lead. Head coach Jake Boltersdorf praised Ian Gresenz during and after the game for his outstanding performance at the point guard position.

  • Tightly guarded by the defender, starting center Caden Phillips defends the ball against the opponent, looking to pass the ball. Head coach Jake Boltersdorf praised Caden Phillips for his tough and strong performance at the center position.

Jefferson’s Freshman boys basketball team looked to get their first win of the season after losing 2 previous scrimmages against George Mason and James Madison High School. The team played against Mount Vernon High School to begin their season on Nov. 28, but lost 38-44, despite making a 14-point comeback in the third and fourth quarter. Regardless, head coach Jake Boltersdorf praised the team for their hustle and comeback.

“No matter how far down we were in that game, they kept fighting, scraped, and clawed their way back to make that game a pretty close game at the end” Boltersdorf said, “so I feel good despite the score, especially since it’s really early in the season and we’re definitely going to get back and better as the season goes.”

Players on the team also shared their thoughts on the loss against Mount Vernon, including their highs and lows of the game.

“I thought we played pretty well as a team,” starting point guard Ian Gresenz said. “We just need to capitalize on a couple situations, but I think we could have beat that team if we had a bit more time to practice beforehand.”

Small forward Kunal Nakka also shared his thoughts on the game, and mentioned how the team can improve for their upcoming games.

“Personally, I can work on taking it up stronger, playing through their contact, and making more of my free throws. Our perimeter shooting was weak this game, and we definitely could have done better.” Nakka said. “We got a few open looks that we just couldn’t capitalize this time. As a team, we can work more on our communication, taking it to the rim strong, and just working on our finishing.”

Boltersdorf also shared some reasons explaining the team’s loss against Mount Vernon High School.

“Right now, sometimes I think that we’re thinking too much when we are out there on the floor, where if we practiced a little bit more, it’s just going to be automatic and that’s going to free their mind up to do other things – being aware of what the other team is doing,” Boltersdorf said. “We just put a zone defense and that is still very new to us. They’re still learning our offenses and our defenses, so it’s still the beginning of the process and they’re still beginning to figure things out.”

As Boltersdorf pointed out several reasons to the team’s close loss, he also acknowledged several players who stepped up their game today, contributing greatly to the game.

“Today some of our big guys Caden Phillips and Brian Jacob really stood out to me as just being tough, they’ve had a lot of size on their team, and it was really tough but they did a good job just battling against those big guys” Boltersdorf said. “Ian [Gresenz] definitely gave us what we needed at the point guard position because we just needed a good ball handler there and he played the majority of the game, and he came up with some big buckets, so those were some great individual performances.”

Despite the loss, Boltersdorf shared his final thoughts on the team’s performance and effort against Mount Vernon High School.

“I’m just really proud of the guys’ effort. I thought that they fought hard and hustled after the ball. They just played as hard as they could, and that’s really all I can ask for.”

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