Yesterday evening, the boys’ basketball team clinched their 19th consecutive postseason appearance with a 78-36 victory over Kew-Forest. None of the current players were alive the last time the Bears missed the playoffs, when the team came up a win shy of qualifying in 1999-00.
The Bear defense started quick with a pair of blocks and two steals in the early minutes of the first quarter, but the Jaguars outworked the Bears on the offensive boards and out-hustled them for several loose balls that extended numerous possessions to keep them in it. Seamus Scanlon scored on a tough layup to put the Brook up 15-10 with under a minute left, but Kew hit a shot to pull within 15-12 after one. Owen Sobel paced the Bear offense, notching seven points in the frame.
The Jaguars knotted the game at 15-15 with a 3-pointer to start the second quarter, prompting a timeout from coach Mike Hickey. From there the Bears engineered a 15-4 run to emphatically close the half. The spurt began with a Scanlon layup. After the Bear press forced a turnover, Sobel scored a layup inside, before another Scanlon finish gave the Brook a 21-15 lead. Kew responded with consecutive buckets, to pull back within two, but a 9-0 run, punctuated by an Andy D’Alessio 3-pointer, gave the Bears a 30-19 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, the Bears wrested away control of the game as they erupted for 25 points, including 11 from Sobel, which turned a taut affair into a blowout. The Bears’ swarming defense, coupled with their speed in transition, quickly swelled the lead into the teens. The cushion hit 20 after a Sobel layup put them up 46-26. Sobel then closed the quarter with an old fashioned 3-point play and a layup to give the Blue & White a 55-30 advantage with eight minutes to play.
In the fourth, T. J. Wachter found his rhythm, scoring nine points, recording two steals, and dishing out a pair of fastbreak assists as the lead mushroomed to as many as 40 points.
Sobel led all scorers with 22, while Scanlon (13), Wachter (13), D’Alessio (12), CJ Edwards (6), Josh Aduba (2), Jerry Li (2), Rex Eshirow (2), Jai Narain (2), and Colin Scanlon (2) rounded out a balanced scoring attack.
The Bears are back in action on Wednesday in a home match-up with Evangel Christian.