Jefferson boys varsity basketball loses final game against Lewis Lancers at home


Anuj Khemka

Sophomore Santiago Criado is seen defending against one of the Lewis Lancers. With their game against the Lancers being the last of the season, Criado reflects on his experiences this season, “It was just really great to be able to have a place where you would meet with people every single day to do something you love to do. I feel like the basketball team is such a tight knit community,” Criado said.

Tanvi Pedireddi, Staff Writer

Jefferson’s boys varsity basketball team lost to the Lewis Lancers with a score of 43-48 on Friday, February 12. This was the Colonial’s last game of the season, ending with a record of 6-13. 

The team had a rocky start to the game with a score of 2-8 at the end of the first quarter, but nearly caught up by half-time with a score of 16-18. In the third quarter, as the timer approached zero the Lancers stalled time by passing the ball between three players. With two minutes left in the game the players put up a fight, but unfortunately lost.

“A lot of games this season have been extremely close, and then and then they go one way or the other,” sophomore Santiago Criado said.

This game in particular was an important one. Not only was it the last game of the regular season, it is likely the final time the seniors will play for Jefferson at home.

“A lot of the seniors and us players realize that this is their last time playing at home this year. We feel it’s important that we put the best effort that we can for the seniors, and for everyone who will be playing again next year,” Criado said.

Playing the game at home court with a significant home crowd proved to be a booster to the atmosphere. To Coach Mark Gray-Mendes, it changes the dynamic of the game.

“Anytime the Montcello Maniacs show up it’s a completely different dynamic. Whenever we have our home fans behind us, and they make the decision to come out like that, we’re tough to beat, and we showed that tonight,” coach Mark Gray-Mendes said.

Although this loss was disappointing, the team still has more games ahead of them. The playoff season begins on Tuesday, February 15, with an away game at Annandale, a team who the Colonials have played against and lost to twice this year. 

“I have a lot of hope for our varsity team on Tuesday, because when the squad is fully healthy, I believe we have a good chance of beating Annandale and moving on to the next round,” team manager Kyle Nguyen said.

The team is hopeful that with the first full roster in a while, they can return back to full strength. One of the senior captains, Steven Li, was injured and unable to play in Friday’s game. 

“We haven’t had our full squad since Nathan got back a few weeks ago, and we were anticipating having our full squad tonight, but we didn’t have Steven. The hope is, with everybody back, we can reestablish some of our identity,” Gray-Mendes said.

With the entire team healthy, the players hope to take advantage of everyone’s strengths, and in doing so advance through the playoffs.

“It’s crazy to think, in all of our years, we’ve never been in more than two games in the playoffs, so that is the ultimate goal. We just want to take each game one step at a time, make the correct plays, and just go from there,” Criado said. 

Although coming off from a loss can be difficult for teams, Jefferson’s Varsity Basketball hopes to make history this playoff season, beginning with their first playoff game at Annandale this Tuesday.