Boys basketball team puts in effort midseason

Senior+Max+Bozza+holds+the+basketball+over+his+left+shoulder+as+he+looks+for+a+teammate+to+pass+the+ball+to+during+a+game+against+the+Riverside+Panthers+on+Dec.+14%2C+2021.

Sarah Levenson/FHS Press

Senior Max Bozza holds the basketball over his left shoulder as he looks for a teammate to pass the ball to during a game against the Riverside Panthers on Dec. 14, 2021.

Sarah Levenson, Editor-in-Chief

It’s easy to lose momentum and struggle while in the thick of something such as a basketball season, which the boys basketball team has definitely learned in their most recent handful of midseason games. 

On Dec. 17, the boys faced off at home against Mohawk, where they dominated and won by a score of 69-41. However, they then played South Side on Dec. 21, where they saw a big 86-44 loss. The next day, on Dec. 22, they also met Ellwood City and fell 83-44. The team was unable to end their losing streak when they traveled to the Community College of Beaver County (CCBC) for the two-day CJ Betters Tournament against Central Valley on Dec. 28 and Blackhawk on Dec. 29. Both were intense games, but the boys lost to Central Valley by a score of 57-29 and Blackhawk 82-36. 

In the new year, the boys hoped to see improvement and come together better on the court. They got a good start towards that goal during an away game versus Summit Academy on Jan. 4. The game was close throughout all four quarters, though Freedom was beaten 82-70. However, senior Carter Huggins had a very big game, as he led the team with 33 points and tied Freedom’s record for successful three point shots with a total of nine completed that night. 

“It was definitely a mix of emotions. We lost the game so it felt like it didn’t really matter, but at the same time, it was cool to tie the record,” Huggins said. 

Later that week, the boys faced off against the Seton LaSalle Rebels at home on Jan. 7. The stands were packed with fans and students showing their support. Unfortunately, their excitement wasn’t enough, as Freedom was down 44-27 at the half and ultimately lost by a score of 88-51.

The team was unable to play against both Aliquippa on Jan. 11 and Avonworth at home on Jan. 14 because of a brief team shutdown due to COVID-19 concerns. However, that did not stop the boys from practicing aspects of their play like shooting, ball-handling and running on their own, as head coach Jeffrey Griffith instructed. 

Getting back on schedule, the boys played their rival New Brighton on Jan. 18. This was the team’s closest battle of the season thus far, as they trailed by just two points, losing 65-63. Senior Joshua Yeck led the team in points for the first time this season, scoring a total of 16 for his teammates. 

On Jan. 19, the boys basketball team made up their previously scheduled game against Avonworth. Freedom struggled throughout the game and saw a 73-48 loss. They then played Nazareth Prep at home on Jan. 21, where they led in points and pulled off a much-anticipated 52-39 win. 

The boys look to improve their record with some wins in their upcoming games. 

“Sometimes we’re not as focused as we should be, so locking in on our goals is something we should look to improve on in these last games,” Huggins said.

The team travels to Burgettstown on Jan. 25, before they play just a few more games to end the season, including senior night versus New Brighton on Feb. 11.