Coming off a narrow win against Yorkville, East’s varsity basketball team took on the Oswego High School Panthers at home on Dec. 9, winning 58-53 to increase their record to 8-1.
In the highly anticipated crosstown game, the Wolves took to the court looking to come away with the win against the rival Panthers, securing a program sweep. The stands were filled on both sides of the court, matching both in high energy and neon gear.
Senior forward and team captain Micah Gatewood said he appreciated the energy surrounding the game.
“I really liked all of the energy and the hype from the fans,” Gatewood said. “We really do it for [them].”
After winning the jump ball, the Wolves took it to the paint but lost possession.
Senior guard Ryan Johnson scored the first two points of the game with a layup, but the Panthers answered the call with three points.
The Wolves struggled to stop the Panthers from making fairly easy shots, allowing them to keep the score close for the duration of the game.
“Overall I felt like it was a bad game for us,” Johnson said. “Our gap defense was bad … it has been struggling the past few games.”
The Wolves finished the first quarter behind by just one point, 13-14.
In the beginning of the second quarter, the Wolves were held up, allowing the Panthers to increase their lead to 13-20, until a free throw taken by the Wolves got them back on track.
At half, the Wolves were up by four, 25-21
In the second half, the Wolves finally put together a few strings.
Assistant coach Patrick Molinari notes that the Wolves struggle to play their best for an entire game.
“We’ve got to be able to put four quarters together,” Molinari said. “We do a good job of putting you know, two or three quarters together, but we haven’t put together a complete game.”
This led to a final score of 58-53.
“I didn’t really like the fact that we won by so little. We could’ve scored a lot more,” Gatewood said. “In the end, we still beat Oswego, but next time we’ll be better prepared.”
Despite not playing their best game, the Wolves feel optimistic about the season ahead of them. Being so early in the season, there is still room for improvement and development before facing tougher opponents.
“Every game is a learning experience for our team,” Molinari said. “The more we get used to each other and blend these new pieces together, the more we are going to grow together as a team.”
The Wolves face the Metea Valley Mustangs at home on Tues., Dec. 13.
Jackson Wezeman is a staff editor for Oswego East’s online news Magazine The Howl