Teachers Triumph: Return of the Annual Students vs. Staff Basketball Game

On March 31, a team of students competed against a team of staff to see who could outlast the other in the fourth annual Students vs. Staff Basketball Game. The staff team won with a score of 26-30.


Sarah Baig

Science teacher William McClintic takes the ball up as the students guard him from all sides.

After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Students vs. Staff Basketball Game made a comeback for the ages, creating a spectacle that captured the student body’s attention. Following two tumultuous halves, the teachers came away with a victory of 26-30.

The competition was heavily anticipated, as preparation through practices started two weeks prior to the game. The staff roster had some returning names; there were a few experienced teachers who hoped to implement their previous knowledge to gain an upper hand. “I’ve played in the Students vs. Staff Basketball Game twice before; one student victory, one staff victory. In the 2019 game, I refereed, so this is my fourth time [participating],” social studies teacher Bradley Burzumato said.

On the students’ side, everyone was a newcomer to the competition, as no current students were enrolled in the school the last time it took place. “I’ve always wanted to play,” senior Arun Karthikeyan said. “I played in the Students vs. Staff Volleyball Game. I wanted to [participate] freshman year, but I didn’t get the chance [because of COVID], so I thought ‘might as well.’ It’s not super competitive, so I learned just to have fun with it,” Karthikeyan said.

The game kicked off with a strong teacher lead as they scored a quick jump shot within the first 15 seconds. While the contest remained close, the staff kept up their momentum throughout the first half. The students scrambled to keep possession as the teachers continued to steal the ball, getting multiple fast breaks. 

The score remained neck-and-neck in the second half until the student team took a quick lead at the midway point, as senior Jeet Metu drove through the defense for two quick consecutive lay-ups.

As the clock winded down, a close score kept the student body at the edge of their seats. With 50 seconds remaining, the students and staff remained tied with a score of 26. As the teachers inbounded the ball, science teacher Dylan Cashman took three quick dribbles and stepped back to sink a 3-point-shot, putting teachers in the lead. After a miscalculated bounce pass from the students leading to another steal, Physical Education teacher Robert Lalli launched a successful half-court shot, causing the gym to erupt in pandemonium. Following the lead shift, the staff kept a steady dribble to run out the shot clock, securing the win, 26-30.

The students felt the loss hard, particularly the seniors who were closing out their last chapter in high school. “I didn’t do [well] at all; I scored zero points — I had a lot of opportunities, but I missed all of them,” senior Nihal Sirivolu said. “We lost the game, so obviously I’m disappointed, [but] I can’t really do anything about it because I’m a senior this year, so good luck to the people next year.”