Boys Basketball Defeats Deerfield in Home Opener

The Boys’ Basketball team faced Deerfield on Saturday, Jan 12 in the first ever home-opening game of the season, year, and decade.

The gym was packed with people from all age groups: students, teachers and parents. The Williston Varsity Boys’ Basketball team welcomed Deerfield Academy to the Sabina Cain Family Athletic Center.

The game started promptly at 4:45 with the Wildcats winning the jump ball. From the opening tip, Andre Washington ’21 led the offensive onslaught for the Wildcats with three baskets in a row to gain a 6-0 lead just a few minutes into the game.

The crowd was fully engaged in the game and each time a player was taken to the free throw line, everyone would do the Wushi Finger Hold [a iconic move from Kung Fu Panda] to send support to the shooter.

The entire crowd got silent when Andre was on the floor with an ankle injury with eleven minutes still remaining in the first half and all the points still coming from his shots.

Despite the loss of a key player, the Cats got back in action with a fast paced back and forth game with strong defense to force turnovers. The Cats went into the locker room with a 22 point lead, the score at the end of the first half was 20-42.

The Willistonian spoke to fans in the crowd during half time.

Sarah Drucker  ’22 expounded on her love to watch basketball games on cold winter days.

“I came out with my friends to support the school,” she said. “I love coming to basketball games. It is always hype.”

Christopher Dietrich, Dean of Enrollment Management, makes his best effort to “come to every home game with his boys.”

“I am excited that they are finally home cause they have been away for a month,” said Dietrich.

Dietrich spoke about how the team did in the first half.

“They are doing a really good job of playing as a team and not having one guy do everything,” said Dietrich.

The Boys Soccer Team cheered, “that’s our striker” after every three pointer that Nick Heafey ’20 hit.

In the second half, Deerfield began to catch up with hot three pointer shots. The score was 45-55 with four minutes winding down.

Everyone in the crowd stood up and the Boys caught the spurt of energy from the crowd. Wildcats utilized their agility and athleticism to get their head back in the game. Tanner Thomas’21 recovered with shots around the rim along with assists from Dylan Ward’20.

The final score was 63-53..

The Willistonian spoke to Wol after the game. He was impressed by the team’s “good start” and “tough play.” Wol, who attended a public school last year, said he was surprised by the crowd’s support.

“I expected prep school to be less [cheering] than I expected,” said Wol. “When I saw people standing I was like, ‘Wow, this is great.'”

This year’s team consists of six returning players and seven new faces: Wol Maiwen ’20, Dallas Elliot ’22, Dylan Ward ’20, Billy Whelan ’20, Tanner Thomas ’21, Badou Ba ’21, and Cooper Creek ’20.

The returning players are: Jason Rhett ’20, Andre Washington’21, Maleek McNeil ’22, Nick Heafy ’20 and Kyle Grabowski ’20,

Under the leadership of coach Ben Farmer and assistant coach Matthew Porter, the team currently boasts a record of 5-3. The wins include games against Master’s on December 14, Brunswick on Dec 20, 2019, and WMA on December 15, 2109 with Billy Whelan hitting a buzzer-beater three for the double overtime win.