Phoenix Varsity Basketball Takes Down the Tigers

On Jan. 5, the Phoenix boys varsity basketball team went up against the visiting Brentsville Tigers. The game ended with a Phoenix win of 77-44.


Smrithi Balakumar

Senior Basit Qadri tries to find another player to pass off the ball to his teammate without the Tigers stealing it.

Following a win against the Heritage Pride, the Rock Ridge Phoenix went against the Brentsville Tigers on Jan. 5. The Phoenix took home the win with a final score of 77-44. 

At the start of the game, sophomore Mekhi Motilewa kicked off an early lead for the Phoenix by scoring two points after rushing through the Tiger’s defenses. Sophomore Trey Fitch scored six points with the help of Motilewa and made the score 8-2 with the Phoenix in the lead. This created tension for the Tigers, as they needed to catch up. 

Fitch scored another two points for the Phoenix, followed by Junior Daniel Okoye scoring. Soon after, Junior Leonardo Gomado scored a point for the Phoenix with the help of Fitch mid-way through the first quarter. Since Junior Kyle Desai was able to steal the ball, both Gomado and Fitch were able to score three points and two points respectively, ending the first quarter at 21-3 with the Phoenix holding a commanding lead.

The first quarter showcased the skills the varsity team improved over the course of their season. Players such as Okoye spent their career in high school basketball honing their talent and bringing the Phoenix to new heights. “I’ve been improving mentally, my knowledge of the game, and I’m always trying to improve physically in the offseason,” Okoye said, “But you know, I’m trying to learn every single day.”

The second quarter started with both teams blocking each other from scoring, until sophomore William Beck broke through the Tigers’ defenses and scored for the Phoenix. Beck scored followed by Okoye scoring two points. Beck scored from the lane, and then again in a free throw after the Tigers fouled. With the crowd’s cheer to push forth and be in the lead, Gomado and Fitch once again scored, and Fitch was able to score a last second free throw and add to the Phoenix’s lead with a score of 43-19. 

During the third quarter, the Tigers stepped up their game and forced the Phoenix to play mostly defensively; however, this didn’t stop the Phoenix’s momentum. Both Fitch and Qadri were able to score for the Phoenix in the sixth minute, and senior Nick Canfield was able to score a slam dunk as well. The Tigers were able to score a few points, but the third quarter ended with the Phoenix still in the lead at a score of 53-35.

During the fourth quarter, both teams had to put on their A game to conclude this match. Despite the intensity during the quarter, the Phoenix were able to make multiple shots and the match ended with the Phoenix winning with a score of 77-44. 

Varsity Boys Basketball coach Jason Geyer was proud of the game’s results and hopes the team can make it to the playoffs. “I think we are good enough to be there. To the championships — we still have ways to get there,” Geyer said. “ So, that’s obviously our motivation to make a push and make it to the playoffs.”

Each member of the Phoenix joined the team out of their love for the sport and willingness to learn. Senior Stephan Stathis, has been playing since freshman year, and has been a vital part of the team. “I’ve been playing basketball my whole life, so it wasn’t really a question [to try out],” Stathis said, “ My passing and my defense have improved over the past four years in the team.”

The next boys basketball game will be on Jan. 20 against the Broad Run Spartans.