By Ben Wistar ’26
Student Writer, Bearcat Sports Media
Boys Varsity Basketball played their final game of the season against Loomis Chaffee, losing in a close game, 60-57. The game was the final home game of the season, so it was the team’s Senior day. Banners were hung for each of the seniors, and there were special team announcements to start the game. A moment was reserved for the injured Brandon McCreesh ’23, with him dribbling the ball for 11 seconds in honor of his jersey number being 11. With that done, the first half would commence.
The first half started with an early foul committed by Hotchkiss, and Loomis scored the first point of the game. Hotchkiss turned the ball over on the next possession, leading to a Loomis dunk. There would be another Hotchkiss turnover on their next possession, but they would respond well to not let Loomis stretch the lead. Will Groot ’23 then sunk a three pointer to tie the game, and Dean Hogans ’25 sunk a three of his own to put Hotchkiss up by three. Loomis answered back with a three of their own, and then converted another turnover into two points. Arop Arop ’23 got fouled, scored, and made it a three point play with the and-1. On the other end of the court, Arop continued to put his mark on the game with a ferocious block and then an equally ferocious dunk. Both sides were sloppy in possession, turning it over multiple times in a row and getting points of turnovers. In the final minutes of the half, Hotchkiss went on a run, hitting a couple of threes and a couple of mid-range jumpers while playing good defense on the other end. Riding the momentum, Hotchkiss went into halftime up 32- 25.
The second half started with a couple quick Loomis buckets and a pair of missed shots for Hotchkiss. A Loomis turnover resulted in a three from Preston Merrick ’26. Loomis continued their offensive pressure with a bucket, and Carter Warren ’24 answered with a three—but Loomis answered back with a three of their own. With five minutes remaining, the lead for Loomis was five points, 50-45. The teams matched shots, and then Warren again hit a three to cut the lead to two. With less than a minute left Merrick also made a three to make it a two point game again. Arop was fouled with five seconds remaining, but he was unable to convert on either shot. Merrick also got fouled with two seconds left, and he made both to give Hotchkiss a chance to tie with a last-second three pointer. Hotchkiss got one last chance at tying the game, but the final shot was unsuccessful, ending the game in Loomis’s favor, 60-57.
This was not the way that our team was hoping to end the season, but hopefully they can reflect on the season and find positives to take away from the experience.