BLA and Snowden Thrown for a Hoop


BLS girls’ basketball seniors celebrate one of the their last home games. (Source: Matthew Taylor)

By Caitlin McDonough (II), Contributing Writer

Girls’ Basketball Senior Night: 

On February 13, the Boston Latin School girls’ varsity basketball team stepped onto the court feeling confident and sentimental. Honoring eight seniors who had become role models, emotions were high and the team wanted to put on a show for their season’s penultimate home game.

Posting up against crosstown rivals Boston Latin Academy Dragons, who they already defeated earlier in the season, the team knew what they were up against. The atmosphere was electric, encouraging the BLS Wolfpack to raise their anticipation.

Before the game even started, it was clear that the players’ heads were in the game, and they were determined to bring home an important win on Senior Night. As captains Lauren Choy (I) and Paige Fitzgerald (I) shook hands with the referees before tip-off, the girls were set and ready for the win.

The game tipped off at 5:30 P.M. and the starting lineup was eager to get the first points on the board. At the start of the first quarter, the team “played with aggression on both sides of the court,” explains Sofia Francisco (I). 

While BLA players resorted to physicality from their increasing frustration, the Wolfpack continued to play their calm and composed game.

“We had great ball movement on offense and never settled for bad shots,” adds Francisco, asserting the team’s confidence and high energy throughout.

Slowly but surely, the team started to pull away from the Dragons, continuing to sink their shots and stifle BLA’s attempts. There was a sense of camaraderie as the seconds ticked away in the fourth quarter. Although the season was filled with injuries and some tough results, the team came together to produce one of their best performances of the year. At the sound of the final buzzer, BLS defeated BLA with a final score of 56-24.

Congratulations to the senior players, Sofia Arvanitis, Lauren Choy, Paige Fitzgerald, Sofia Francisco, Colleen Lombard, Maayan Magaziner, Adele Orellana and Madelyn Taylor on their incredible basketball careers at BLS!


Boys’ Basketball Senior Night:

With 5.2 seconds remaining, the score is 55-56 in Snowden International School’s favor. Snowden shoots the free throw. Clank! The ball hits the front rim. 4.6 seconds left. The fight for the rebound ensues and BLS comes up with the ball. 2.7 seconds left. The ball’s at half-court and is passed to the corner. One second left. 

As exhilarating as the final few seconds against Snowden were, the game didn’t start that way. Playing Snowden for the first time this year, the boys’ varsity basketball team didn’t know what to expect. Without their starting captain Sam Griffin (I), who was out due to an injury, the team struggled to wrestle with Snowden’s pressure, leading to a sluggish start for the Wolfpack.

With lots of work left to do in the second half, the coaching staff and players knew the game was far from over. Coach Etienne rallied his players, asking, “How does the class of 2023 want to be remembered?” and reminding them to “correct the things [they] can control and calm down and settle into the game.”

Knowing what they needed to do, the boys continued to chip away at the enemy. This time it was BLS who was exerting pressure on Snowden. Multiple three-pointers and impressive defensive stops allowed the Wolfpack to come within one point of Snowden.

Now comes the grand finale: at the final second of the game, Will White (V) sprints to the corner and shoots. The three-pointer is up in the air. All eyes focus on the ball. The gym falls silent as the buzzer sounds. Swish! Final score: BLS 58 – Snowden 56.

White expresses that as the shot was in the air, he had only one thing on his mind: “To make the shot to win for the seniors in the last home game of their BLS careers.” 

Coach Etienne reflects that although it is sad to see players graduate, the class of 2023 “will always be special to [him] as [he has] had some of these guys since they were freshmen, as [he was] their guidance counselor.”

Congratulations to the senior players, Ivan Belobokov, Weslin Diaz, Odin Edlund-Slarsky, Princewill Eke, Douglas George, Sam Griffin and Connor Tran on their fantastic basketball careers at BLS!