Phoenix Battle the Pride During First Double Header of the New Year

On Jan. 3, the Phoenix girls and boys varsity basketball teams clashed against the Heritage Pride for their first home game in the new year. The Phoenix girls lost 64-10, and the boys won 59-37.


Iyush Hoysal

Senior Basit Qadri sprints down the court, weaving through defenders as he looks for an open teammate.

Fresh off the end of winter break, the Phoenix boys and girls varsity basketball teams went up against the Heritage Pride for the first double-header home game of 2023 on Tuesday, Jan. 3. Students from both schools packed the gym as the games played out, each side on the edge of their seats creating an exciting yet tense atmosphere. 

At the commencement of the double header, the Phoenix girls took charge and started off strong, scoring a basket against the Pride girls. However, as the game progressed, it quickly turned into a one sided fight, as the Pride dominated  the court,taking the lead early on with point after point and ending the first quarter 13-1. The Pride girls relentlessly held on to the lead, consistently playing aggressive on both offense and defense, and won with a final score of 61-10. “I think we need to communicate more, on and off the bench, I really think that can help us, and maybe help us win the game next time,” senior Mehma Kathuria said. 

After the conclusion of the girl’s game, the Phoenix boys seized the court, winning the tip-off against the Pride boys and starting off strong by taking the lead with a score of 14-13 by the end of the first quarter. This wasn’t a surprise to both the boys and coaches. “The last two weeks during break were kind of a restart for us, a refresh…trying to be the best version of ourselves that we can,” coach Jason Geyer said. The team prepared over the few weeks of winter break and played games and scrimmages, all while building upon both defensive and offensive strategies. 

Spirits high, the crowd was on the edge of their seats as the second quarter kicked off. Keeping their momentum, the Phoenix boys kept the lead through the whole game, making sure to work together as a team and communicate, as well as stay aggressive on both offense and defense. They ended the fourth quarter and won with a final score of 59-37. Senior Stephano Stathis had his first game back after an ankle injury, and managed to make an impact on both ends of the court not long after he was subbed in.“I think [the injury] made me push myself more, made me hustle more,” Stathis said. He believed that the Phoenix boys played well, but could have improved on their communication.“We could have talked more on defense, but that’s it,” Stathis said.

Although the Phoenix girls ended up losing their game after a hard fought battle, the boys ended up taking the win, celebrating as they exited the gym. “Everybody is starting to find their role and everything, so hopefully, we’ll have a good second half [of the season],” Geyer said.

The Phoenix’s next home game was on Thursday, Jan. 5, against the Brentsville Tigers.