Boys Basketball Takes on City Champs at Barclays Center
By RREZE KADRIJAJ
The boys varsity basketball team took on city champs Brooklyn High School for Law and Technology at Barclays Center February 5. Midwood was also represented by the Lady Phoenixes (our step team) and the cheerleading team. The Hornets lost 52-37, leaving Law and Technology’s Jets still undefeated.
The game began in Midwood’s favor as the team won the tip off.
Coach Victor Gjecaj’s fast reflexes came in handy during the first quarter when the ball came speeding in his direction after it slipped out of a player’s hands.
“I don’t play anymore,” said Coach Gjecaj, smiling. “I’m too old, and I got a suit on.”
At first, Law and Tech’s cheerleaders cheered on their team undisturbed, but they were quickly overpowered by the rhythmic fury of the Lady Phoenixes.
Kailyn Craigwell ’19, a co-captain of the step team, said, “At first, it was overwhelming. We don’t cheer, so we had to make it up as we went.”
The girls’ powerful, syncharnized movements echoed off the Barclays Center’s walls.
Alicia Jones ’19, another co-captain, said, “We got a little out of our comfort zone. Then we were able to shine and do what we do best.”
The second quarter started with Midwood down 16-4.
One highlight came when Andy Dokovic ’19 threw down a monstrous put-back dunk after a missed a three-pointer by Thierry Blyden ’20.
The cheerleading team entertained the crowd during half time as both teams went over their strategy for the second half.
A bizarre moment occured at the beginning of the fourth quarter when Law and Tech’s assistant coach approached the scorer’s table. He claimed the Jets had 51 points, even though the scoreboard showed 46.
Many players looked confused, and others thought it was a joke. The scores were recounted, and the Jets’ 46 were confirmed.
Law and Tech’s head coach was not pleased and insisted again on switching the scores while a referee stood behind him, shaking his finger to keep the scores how they were.
A possible comeback by the Hornets was squelched in the fourth quarter when Donel Jean Bapstise ’19 hit a three-pointer but was called for being out of bounds.
Mr. Gjecaj loudly protested the call and got called for a technical foul.
Though the loss was disappointing, the boys showed a strong determination to win, even when they were down by 20 points. Law and Tech showed a strong drive, too.
“We played them last year and won,” said Mr. Gjecaj. “I think they were pretty upset about that.”
Win or lose, playing at Barclays Center was a special moment.
Justin Roseboro ’21, a player on the team, said he will remember “the bonds you make and the adversity you overcome as a team.”
Karen Chen contributed to this article.