April 19, 2018
Thanks to Max Forstein ’23 who diligently covered all MFS Middle School basketball teams and provided the season summaries below. Max has a passion for sportswriting and manages his own blog. Go Foxes!
The Boys A team had a great season this year. Led by their returning veterans Denis McBride and Christian Gallon (both 8th) and their talented point guard Moses Hipps (6th), they cruised to a 13-2 record. Moses constantly dropped double digit points every game, and Denis and Christian were able to grab rebounds and get buckets from anywhere on the court. One of their most successful games was their 60-29 win over the Baptist Warriors. The first half was really the difference, because MFS outscored Baptist 43-10. This deficit was why the boys played it safe in the second half, only scoring 17 points. Two breakout stars in this game were Peter Tummarello and Danya Weinstock (both 8th). Peter had 11 points and three rebounds, and Danya had nine points and two rebounds. Another great game was their 49-20 win against Audubon. The boys, after coming back from Winter Break, showed in their home opener that they didn’t mess around. Moses exploded for 18 points and Denis had 11 points and seven rebounds. Moses told me after the game that he was grateful to have trust in his teammates, despite being the youngest on the team. With 75% of the team moving on to high school, it leaves lots of opportunities for future players to showcase their talents.
The Girls A team played very well this season, finishing off the year with a 12-1 record. Not only was this the best record out of all the basketball teams this year, but it trumped each of their records in the past three years. Their only loss was to Riverton. Roni Kennedy (8th) had a fantastic season, frequently putting up at least 10 points each night. Another standout was Blythe O’Connor (8th), who was clutch in multiple games. An example of this powerhouse team was when they squared off against Haddon Heights. With a minute and a half left, Sophia Rutherford (6th), their starting point guard, made two crucial free throws to give MFS the lead. Sophia, however, turned the ball over with 51 seconds left, allowing Haddon Heights to score and take a 28-27 lead. Coming out of the timeout, Blythe got the ball inside and scored a layup to make the score 29-28. They held off Haddon Heights with 17 seconds left and secured the victory. At the end of the season, Coach Salazar told me that she was extremely proud of her team this season. Coach recognizes that over 60% of her team will be moving on to high school. Next season might be a rebuilding year, but she expects to see rising 6th and 7th graders to make it onto the team, which excites her for the future.
The Boys B team, led by Coach McCollister, finished this season off with a 6-6 record. After a shaky start, they got their first win at Friends Select by a whopping score of 37-4. They beat Friends Select all three times this season, which made up half of their wins. They also defeated Friends’ Central twice, and finished off the season at home when they dominated Riverton and won by a score of 45-10. In that game, they played incredible defense, allowing a total of 0 points in the second half. During that game, one player who really shined was Turner Jobes (8th). He scored seven points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Another standout in that game was Henry Peterson (7th). He had eight points, five rebounds, and three steals. I interviewed Turner after the game and he told me he was highly motivated to win due to their loss to Riverton earlier in the season. Even through their losses, there were games that showcased the boys’ full potential. One of these games was their heartbreaking loss to Germantown Friends, where Arjan Chhabra (7th) racked up 17 points. It’s clear that this Boys B Team has lots of hope for the future.
This season, the Girls B Team’s season ended with a 2-9 record, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. The girls put lots of effort and heart into this season and it showed on the court. Even though they lost their first three games, they came in clutch in the fourth quarter to defeat the Cinnaminson Pirates at home by a score of 14-10. That game went back and forth, but the fourth quarter was where they really shined. They doubled their score from the third quarter (7) and they allowed Cinnaminson to only score four points. With the game winding down, Naiya Patel (7th) stole the ball with ten seconds left and sealed the game by getting her team two more points, which made it impossible for the Pirates to come back. Alissa Fox (7th) also had a huge contribution to the girls’ win. Despite not getting any points, she grabbed an impressive 14 rebounds, which allowed MFS to destroy any runs by the other team. They also won against Kellman Brown Academy in their third to last game. Overall, this season was one of amazing growth for the girls.
The Boys C team had a record of 1-5 this season. Their only win was at home against Friends Select. They were able to score 16 points and grabbed 29 rebounds, as a team! Two huge contributors to this win were Alec Fog (7th) and Connor Woelfel (6th). Alec played an overall solid game, having two points, three rebounds and four steals. Connor played great, grabbing seven points and two rebounds. Connor told me after the game that he thought his team played great, but there were things that they had to improve on. Even though they continued to improve, they weren’t able to collect another win this season. There is some exciting talent coming from this team, and the future of boys basketball looks promising.
Overall, this season was amazing for Middle School Basketball. In total, the teams combined for a .596 winning percentage, which is an extreme upgrade from last year’s .474 winning percentage. The 8th graders played a huge part in this upgrade. In total, there will be 21 8th graders who will be moving on to high school basketball next year. Due to these players brilliance in middle school, the future looks bright for MFS High School Basketball. The middle school, however, gets to look towards the future. There were many standout stars on each of the teams that were 7th and 6th graders. This season shows that they could be huge for each of the teams in the following years. Overall, this season was entertaining, exciting, and all around awesome.