Rebels Fall to East Harlem

The boys’ basketball team falls to 0-10 in a blowout loss against East Harlem Pride High School.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Cover Image
By Matt Melucci

Coming into the 2018-2019 season, the Rebels had their downs, unable to break their losing streak despite hours of practice and dedication to the game of basketball. Having started the season with a 0-9 record, the Rebels hoped to get their first win against East Harlem Pride. However, despite a home-field advantage on their side, the team suffered a 58-37 defeat to fall to 0-10 in the season, extending their losing streak.

Despite Stuyvesant jumping out to a quick 5-0 that included senior and captain Ricky Zou’s baseline jumper, the Rebels’ lead did not last long. Late in the third quarter, junior Christopher Kim drove in the paint and attempted a layup as the game was slipping away from the Rebels’ hands. However, East Harlem junior Daouda Diawara, both teams’ leading scorer with 23 points in the game, went up to contest in what turned out to be a questionable no-call by the referee. “People say it's just two points, but not receiving a call like that ruins the entire flow,” Kim said. Diawara then threw an outlet pass on a fastbreak attempt to his teammate, who converted an easy layup and accumulated a foul, with senior Abraham Lee smothering him in vain to prevent East Harlem from scoring. East Harlem capped off their 15-2 run to extend their lead to a dominant one, with the score being 49-23 at the end of the third quarter.

This sequence of events summed up the bulk of Stuyvesant’s issues, which have plagued them all season long. Ultimately, taller, bigger, and faster East Harlem players simply outmatched Stuyvesant physically. The Rebels struggled to drive in the paint due to the pressure from East Harlem’s man-to-man defensive scheme. This led to a frantic game with a multitude of blocked shots and turnovers forced by East Harlem, which they then converted on fastbreak attempts. Stuyvesant played with heart and actually outscored East Harlem 14-10 in the fourth quarter, but the game was already out of reach at this point.

Stuyvesant’s lack of size was partially noticeable for rebounding, as East Harlem massively out-rebounded the Rebels. The plethora of offensive rebounds led to multiple second chances for East Harlem to score. Paint defense has also been an issue all season for the Rebels. Once in the paint, the Rebels had no choice but to foul to prevent East Harlem from scoring easy buckets. They had 12 fouls compared to East Harlem’s three in the game. As a result, East Harlem scored 18 of their 58 points in the game from free throw attempts. East Harlem’s hot shooting also played a role in the blowout, as the team converted six three-point attempts out of eight for a 75 percent three-point shooting rate.

Despite the tough loss, the younger players on the varsity team got critical experience that will help them in the future. As the game was out of reach in the fourth quarter, coach George Stork put in the younger players to get valuable minutes that would be important to their development. Freshman Ethan Kirschner was able to draw a foul, and sophomores Mitchell Fogel and Christian Nwenyi played tenacious defense, forcing a few East Harlem turnovers. Junior Lewis Woloch, who is putting together a solid season, converted three three-point shot attempts in the final stretch of the fourth quarter, as he finished as the leading scorer of the Rebels with nine points. Zou is assisting in the development of the younger players. “As the season progressed, I tried to have fun with the guys, let them know the good and the bad, and keep a positive attitude,” he said.

Stuyvesant currently has a 0-12 record in the Manhattan A1 Division after losing to Seward Park Campus and Washington Irving HS. With playoffs out of reach, the team will look to close out the season with pride, look ahead to the future, and emphasize development of the younger members of the varsity team.