The boys varsity basketball team used hot shooting and tough defensive pressure to pull away from Choate for a 76-60 victory on Feb. 22, the team’s final home game of the season.
Seniors Myles Brewster ’20 and Kyle Jenkins ’20 led the way for the Bearcats (21-2) with 19 points each, and also led the team in three-pointers (3 and 4, respectively). Long-range shooting paid off for Hotchkiss on the day, as they made 11 shots from deep compared to only five for Choate.
In the early going, though, both teams played a back-and-forth first half, with neither team able to gain a lead of more than four points at any point. Starting forward Vasja Pandza ’20 gave the home team an early spark with eight first-half points, finishing the game with 15.
After falling behind 32-31 with just over a minute to play before halftime, Hotchkiss responded with two straight three-pointers, the first by Jenkins and the second by starting guard Jon Coffy ’21 as time expired, bringing a thunderous ovation from the packed Fowle Frenzies student section.
Carrying that momentum out of the intermission, the Bearcats came out with renewed energy, kicking the half off with a powerful dunk by Jenkins to give Hotchkiss a 39-32 lead. Another bucket from deep by Jenkins midway through the period gave the team its first double-digit lead of the game at 50-40, and they would stay in front for the rest of the game.
Foul trouble took its toll on both teams, with a total of 41 personal fouls called, including 28 in the second half. Two Choate players fouled out late in the game, and four Hotchkiss players (Pandza, Brewster, Coffy, and guard C.J. Mitchell ’21) each carried at least three fouls. Neither team was able to draw a decisive advantage at the free-throw line, however.
Hotchkiss will close out the season this week with Kent on Wednesday and Loomis on Saturday.