Rebels’ Struggles Continue

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Early in the second quarter, senior Nicholas Kim put up a foul shot that rolled around on the rim before falling toward senior Sirazum Chowdhury. Despite his best efforts, Chowdhury was beaten to the ball by a taller opponent, who immediately initiated a fastbreak down the sideline. Chowdhury, not giving up on the play, sprinted down the length of the court and executed a timely block.

This sequence of events summed up the struggles of the Runnin’ Rebels, Stuyvesant’s boys’ basketball team, who played with heart but ultimately could not score enough to keep the game close. Despite a valiant effort in the second half, the game ended 75-41 in Seward Park Campus’ favor.

The first half was not kind to the Rebels. They struggled to pass the ball from tipoff due to Seward’s incessant pressure. This led to a frantic and fast-paced game with a multitude of Stuyvesant turnovers. Seward raced out to a 34-14 lead at the first half.

There were, however, bright moments in the game. “The bright spots of the season may never show up on a stat sheet,” senior Michael Gillow said. One such moment occurred in the third quarter when the Rebels began to figure out their opponents. Paul Goldsman, their coach, called a critical time-out to settle his team, and the team responded—they began showing their ability on defense and made smart plays that found holes in Seward’s potent defense. It was obvious the Rebels had practiced avoiding pressure on the offensive end and maintaining positioning on defense, as the team executed both successfully during the second half.

“Slide, Slide, Slide!” coach Goldsman shouted to keep his players active on defense. However, much of their defensive effort was wasted since they misfired on too many open shots. They were unable to capitalize on fast breaks from Seward misses and forced turnovers.

Stuyvesant currently has a 2-12 record in the Manhattan A1 Division. With playoffs all but out of reach, the team will look to close out the season with pride and look ahead to next year.

However, the Rebels’ struggles can be attributed to more than just the team’s play. With a new coach and system, an adjustment period is natural. Coach Goldsman has been fiddling with the starting lineup throughout the season to try to find the best fits for the team. Despite the changes, some players have been able to flourish under Coach Goldsman’s tutelage. Senior Nicholas Kim leads the team with 9.25 points per game, good for 21st in the division. Gillow sits 13th in the division with 2.58 assists per game. Junior Kevin Chan has played some point guard this season and flourished in the position, using his passing ability to make plays for his teammates. “I love it when a player does good work near the basket then passes it off to a teammate for an easy basket,” Coach Goldsman said, explaining his decision to employ Chan in the point guard position.

Nonetheless, the Rebels will try to end their season on a high note. “My goal since the beginning of the season has been to get [the team] to play a complete and perfect game,” coach Goldsman said. The team is going to have to operate as a unit to have any chance of reaching their goal. When asked how he and his teammates can turn their season around, Gillow said, “We as a team need to end the season strong for each other.”

Even if they are unable to finish with a win, the future looks bright for the Rebels. With younger players such as freshman Mitchell Fogel getting critical experience on varsity and a strong junior varsity team that is currently 5-2, which could be the backbone of the varsity team in coming years.