By GRACE SHEEHAN, KARLISSE WILLS, AIDAN SILVESTRO
Last night the Masuk Panthers basketball team fell to the Barlow Falcons, with a final score of 47-56.
The boys entered the game with huge confidence and low energy, seeing as Barlow was 1-7 and ranked 13th in the Southwest league. However Barlow shocked Masuk, leading the 1st quarter 12-5. Masuk’s offense struggled to regain control of rebounds and gave away many easy transition points. The energy on and off the court was low, with even the student section being relatively quiet.
In the very first quarter, Tyler Newsom received a technical for attempting a slam-dunk and hanging on the basket. However he came back, scoring a total of 15 points that night. Also leading in points was junior Ethan Palma with 8, and sophomore Stephen Sentementes with 7.
“For my first game back I tried to do too much which led to crucial turnovers and our team chemistry and energy wasn’t where it has been but that’s why we practice working on that stuff. These games happen and now it’s about how we bounce back,” stated Sentementes.
By halftime, Masuk trailed 18-28, and the defense struggled to oppose the attack, giving up a total of 18 fouls.
The Panthers fought until the end, with a nail-biting fourth quarter.
“I think we did a good job of not giving up and playing the entire game even though we were down,” Captain Greg Nivison explained. They put up 15 points in the fourth quarter alone. However, it was not enough as Barlow held down their defense. The boys seemed to have more fire the last quarter, with numerous time outs and strategy from the coach. Still, the game ended with a solid Barlow lead.
Masuk is now 5-3 in the league and ranked 7th overall in the Southwest Conference. Going into the game Joel Barlow was 1-7, an expected victory for the Panthers turned into a close battle. But Joel Barlow has ranked 6 teams below Masuk, giving hope for the Panthers in the Southern Connecticut Conference in March.
When asked what the team can improve upon, Nivison said, “I think we have to work on running offense and getting great shots instead of settling for quick threes.”
The Masuk varsity boys basketball team has 12 games left in their regular season, and the team is playing league member schools in 11 of those remaining games. Masuk boys basketball is playing their next game away at Weston this Thursday, Jan. 12.