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Boys basketball defeated by Burke in final game

Evan Marohn, Staff Writer

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The boys basketball team fell in an overtime defeat by a score of 67-63 on Wednesday, Feb. 24, to the Bulldogs of Burke High School of Boston, finishing the season with a 5-15 record.

As is customary on the last game of the season, the team celebrated Senior Night by honoring each of the seven members of its graduating class: Niles Cohen, Jared Farley, Edmund Gerschickter, Eric Hall, Tavian Morrison, Ronan Schwar, and Patrick Webler. Coach Luke Day went with an all-senior starting five.

“I feel like it helped us, definitely,” Cohen, who was Brookline’s second-leading scorer with 16 points, said of the senior night atmosphere. “I feel like we came out with a lot of energy, which was, for some games, a problem for us this year. I feel like it definitely helped us, and we would have loved to go out on a win, but life doesn’t always work out that way. But, it’s good motivation for what we’re going to do next year, playing college, or just in life in general.”

Junior Itamar Zik, who played his first minutes on Wednesday since spraining his ankle on January 22, also said that senior night provides not only a lot of motivation for the graduating class, but also for the team as a whole.

“It gives us more of a drive, especially for the seniors,” Zik said. “It gives them something to fight for. It reminds them that this is their legacy, and this game represents what they’re leaving behind. It definitely drives a lot of us moving forward.”

Brookline started fast, hitting two early three-pointers and forcing a number of turnovers. The Bulldogs shot poorly to start the game and the Warriors led, 19-9, at the end of the first quarter, the majority of their points coming from Schwarz.

“We just got into a great flow. Personally, I was hitting a lot of shots, and our team was playing really good defense,” Schwarz, who led the Warriors in scoring with 31 points, said.  “So to start the game we felt like we were in a really good position.”

Burke tightened the Brookline lead to four points with some three-pointers early in the second, and from then on the teams traded runs until the end of the second quarter. The Bulldogs finished strongest and trailed by six, 32-26, at the break.

The Warriors opened the second half with an emphatic block by freshman Chris Camille, but Burke quickly gained momentum, capitalizing on a string of Brookline turnovers to erase the deficit and run out to a two-point lead, 46-44, by the start of the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter was a back and forth affair, with both teams trading important baskets, but Schwarz tied the game at 58 by drilling a three with 30 seconds left.  Burke then committed a shot clock violation, sending the game into overtime knotted at 58.

Early in overtime, the Warriors suffered a big blow, as Morrison committed his fifth foul, forcing him out of the game.  The Bulldogs capitalized on his absence with two important layups. Brookline committed two intentional fouls to try to win the ball back for a last-gasp shot, but junior Henry Sher’s long-range three was off target, giving Burke the 67-63 win.

“Our defense kind of let up a little bit,” Schwarz said. “We didn’t stay as hot from the three-point line, so that hurt us a little.”

Like Schwarz, Cohen was frustrated by the loss but encouraged by the team’s perseverance.

“I feel like the effort was a hundred percent there,” Cohen said. “Some things just didn’t go for us. It caps off a tough year. I really feel like it shows the resiliency on the Brookline Warriors team. Hopefully next year they really pick it up and put the crown where it’s supposed to be, at Brookline.”

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Boys basketball defeated by Burke in final game