Boys basketball beats Lions (Boys Varsity Basketball)

Roger Wistar

The boys varsity basketball game won their third straight game, defeating Kent 66-52 on Jan. 25.

Clyde Smith ’12 led all Bearcats in scoring with 25 points, despite playing the majority of the second half with four personal fouls. Topher Campbell ’13 (12 points) and Kyle Washington ’13 (14 points) also finished in double figures.

In addition to shooting nearly 50% for the game, Hotchkiss won the game through a stifling defensive effort, holding the Lions to only 33% shooting. Washington proved especially effective down low, recording eight blocked shots and 13 rebounds.

After opening the season losing eight of its first nine games, the team has rebounded with three convincing wins, beating Kent, Taft, and Canterbury by at least 10 points in each of its last three games.

The first half featured a see-saw battle between the two teams until the Bearcats broke open a 12-12 tie with a 12-3 run to build a 24-15 lead. Kent rallied to close the gap to five points at halftime, 34-29.

The second half would feature intense, physical play on both sides. The teams combined for seven personal fouls in the first 2:30 of the half, and Kent was in the bonus for almost 10 minutes. Point guard Makai Mason ’14 picked up his fourth foul less than two minutes into the half, and Smith was whistled for his fourth with nearly nine minutes left.

Despite the significant foul trouble in the backcourt, Hotchkiss managed to shut down the Lion offense, which took nearly six minutes to score its first point of the second half on a free throw. By then, the Bearcats had opened a double digit lead at 43-31, and the lead never dropped below nine points the rest of the way.

The game was played before a raucous student body in Fowle Gym, with the biggest cheer coming towards the end of the game when Mason was fouled while driving to the basket, but hit his fall-away jumper.

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