Varsity Wolves command game against Oswego Panthers at annual Crosstown Challenge

Mehki Lowery led the Wolves with 16 points Friday night. ¨I had a lot of confidence going into the game,¨ Lowery said. ¨We´re on a winning streak against them so we just wanted to keep it.¨ Photo by Colleen Olson. 

Leaving the court Friday night, the Wolves displayed excitement as they walked away with their second win this season against their crosstown rivals, the Oswego Panthers. 

Each season there are two games versus the Panthers – one in the beginning of the season and one at the end. Both are equally as exciting as the stands overflow with fans. 

The student sections at this game wore opposing colors – the Wolves dressed in black while the Panthers dressed in white. 

With the unusually large crowds at this game, three-year varsity athlete Mehki Lowery said it´s important to put on a show for the community and he credits his leadership and physical attributes for their success. 

¨I’m a big leader on the team, so it’s part of my responsibility to get the guys going mentally,¨ Lowery said. ¨And physically I’m probably one of the biggest guys on the court so I think I help balance the defensive end.¨

Jehvion Starwood said he is also one of the most positive players on the team, following the coaches advice to remain calm and collected in the loud gymnasium. 

¨Mentally, I just want to stay strong,¨ Starwood said. ¨When things are going bad, I’m usually the one to pick everybody up, and that ripples throughout the whole team.¨

Starwood led the team with 12 points at the half, helping secure a lead of 39-19. 

Lowery wasn’t too far behind. He scored nine points, four of which came from two dunks made in the first half. 

Entering the third quarter, the Wolves gave up a significant amount of free throws for defensive fouls. Starting forward, Tyler Jasek said he tried to help as the team struggled but their lead slipped away. 

¨We came in looking to win but we struggled in the third quarter a little bit,¨ Jasek said. ¨I try to play strong on the defensive end, taking a lot of charges and trying to get the rebounds.¨

During the third quarter, when the Wolves struggled defensively, Head Coach Ryan Velasquez said he advised the team to stay composed. 

¨I wanted them to stay focused on the value of every possession we had and to make sure we continued to defend and never let our guard down,¨ Velasquez said.

The Wolves managed to keep their lead and finished with their second crosstown win this season against the Panthers. 

Although they won 72-56, Velasquez emphasized the importance of remaining focused on the upcoming games as they head into the playoff season. 

¨The goal is the same from day one,¨ Velasquez said. ¨To get better everyday and when we practice. Take it one game at a time.¨

The Wolves celebrate their senior night this upcoming Tuesday versus Plainfield North.

Grace Praxmarer is a staff editor for Oswego East’s Online news magazine The Howl

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