Faculty teach students a lesson in basketball


Thomas Jackson

Senior Ian Hooks takes the ball up the court, as he calls out the play.

On the last day before the winter break, students and teachers alike gathered in the gymnasium to watch school staff members and faculty take on 17 students from the Class of 2023. A fitting end to the winter spirit week, the faculty took down the students thanks to a game-winning three point shot by librarian Cassidy Capuano. 

Not only did the faculty try their luck at basketball that afternoon, 10 teachers attempted to take the role of cheerleaders for the game. At halftime, teacher cheerleaders paired up with student cheerleaders to attempt their own dances, much to the amusement of other students in the stands. 

Scoring came at a premium all game for both teams, as the scoreboard read 23-13 in the teachers’ favor at the end of the first 15-minute half. Even with the lack of scoring, the faculty came out of the gates strong. Junior varsity girls basketball coach Jaylen Dillard scored the first points of the game for either team. He was quickly followed in scoring by Amaree Weathers, with the first bucket of the game for the students.

Junior varsity girls basketball coach Jaylen Dillard brings up the ball for the faculty in the first half. (Thomas Jackson)

After Weathers started the scoring, Emma Zblewski seemingly stole the show for the students by hitting two consecutive threes early in the game. The aforementioned Dillard countered Zblewski’s threes; he added a few threes of his own, including one that closed out the scoring for the faculty in the first half.

Facing a 10 point deficit at the start of the second half, the seniors were determined to find a way to break through the stout faculty defense. The students were able to do just that, as they went on an eight to zero run to start the second half. This was partly thanks to Sam Janoski, who hit two shots from behind the three point arc during the students’ rally. Janoski attributed the seniors’ run to the change in game plan that head coach Grafton Allen installed at halftime. 

“He told us that we’re going to keep the best people in the game until the end… I think that’s what he did,” Janoski said. 

Following the eight unanswered points that started the second half for the seniors, a scoring drought overcame both teams for the better part of six minutes. This drought came courtesy of a mix of good defense by the two teams and less than stellar shot selection that led to many misses. 

Sam Janoski shoots from behind the three point arc in the second half. (Thomas Jackson)

With the game within two points, in favor of the faculty, with a minute left, the seniors were able to tie the game up at 29 with a little bit over 20 seconds left. That is when Capuano played hero and hit a three to put the faculty up by three, 32-29. Capuano believes that the reason that she was able to make that shot was the fact that she had a hot hand after making an additional three point shot earlier in the first half.

“There were only like 20 seconds left,” Capuano said. “It was a tie ball game so we had to get some points. I was open; I hit one earlier so I thought I could do it again.” 

With students from all grades piled into the gym, both Capuano and Janoski said that the intense atmosphere contributed heavily to the game. Janoski believes that the atmosphere made it very stressful to play his own game. 

“It was pretty loud,” Janoski said. “I was actually nervous, but once I [made] that first shot, all the noise went away.”

Capuano, on the other hand, expressed her change of heart about the game and the impact it had on everyone else in the gym. 

“I originally wasn’t even planning to play, but then I ended up playing and we ended up having a lot of fun,” Capuano said. “I think it was a great environment for the school; I think everybody had a lot of fun.”