Boys’ Basketball Tops Exeter

 

Photo courtesy of Ross Mortensen

Caden Dumas ’18 and Jake Sullivan ’18 defend against Exeter.

 

After losing by a combined 55 points over the past 2 seasons, Boys’ Varsity Basketball was out for revenge this past Saturday when they topped Exeter 61-50. Not only had Choate been thoroughly outmatched in past years, Exeter is coming off of a New England Championship winning season just last season. However, a reloaded Choate team proved too much for the defending champions, as they were outplayed over the course of the contest.

The game was a tale of two halves; Choate dominated the first half, particularly on the offensive end of the ball. Jayden Nixon ’18, Brad Landry ’18, and Jaylen “Juice” Sandifer ’18 were all immense, and Grady Bohen ’19 was very solid coming off of the bench for the Wild Boars. All had noteworthy plays throughout the game, highlighted by Landry’s stunning dish to Sandifer for a strong finish at the rim, as well as Bohen with a great turnaround shot coming off of the bench. Caden Dumas ’18 also had a great game, at one point hitting a clutch three as the shot clock expired. Choate finished the first half in control of the game, leading Exeter 29-24.

Despite the momentum gathered by the Wild Boars, the second half wasn’t as fruitful or dominant as the first half. The offense seemed to sputter a bit and Exeter began hitting their shots and slowly climbing back into the game, but that didn’t intimidate the boys in blue and gold. On their second half struggles, Elliot Sawyer-Kaplan ’18 said, “We had a few sloppy defensive closeouts, so they were able to grab some momentum back from those. That stemmed from us not playing good help defense, and so we started to force things on both ends of the ball as a result.” Eventually though, the boys settled back in, as Sawyer-Kaplan noted, “We ended up running around for a bit, but we were able to bring it back and get some control back in the game.” Choate hung onto their halftime lead to win convincingly over the defending champions 61-50.

Sawyer-Kaplan commented on the game, saying, “It was a really big win for us, especially given our history with them. It was nice to get some revenge.” It truly was a big win for the program, especially in the fashion which the team went about it; Choate didn’t trail the entire game aside from going down 0-3 off of one of the first plays of the game. When asked who stood out for Choate, Sawyer-Kaplan said, “Juice,” without hesitation. He added, “He was dominant on both sides of the ball (offense and defense) and brought a ton of energy to the team overall.”

Going forward, Boys’ Basketball has a match-up with Founder’s League rival Loomis Chaffee, who are currently 5-5, beating Deerfield, Avon, and Kent along the way. With the Wild Boars currently undefeated, every team it plays will be looking to break that undefeated record, which gives every game significance. It will be on the shoulders of the players to make sure that they avoid the pressure that comes with such a record, and instead, focus on their basketball and team play.

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