Boys’ Basketball Team Finds Playoff Success in First Round of Districts

Fans+filled+the+bleachers+during+the+Buc%E2%80%99s+opening+round+match+up+against+Inlet+Grove+on+Feb.+10.+The+boys%E2%80%99+varsity+squad+won+the+game+handily%2C+though+are+not+easing+up+on+their+preparation+for+their+upcoming+games+as+they+look+towards+a+long+post-season.+

Fans filled the bleachers during the Buc’s opening round match up against Inlet Grove on Feb. 10. The boys’ varsity squad won the game handily, though are not easing up on their preparation for their upcoming games as they look towards a long post-season.

Joey Tomassetti, Staff Writer

On Wednesday, Benjamin and Inlet Grove played in the first round of the 4A District games. Benjamin, the number one seed in the bracket, annihilated Inlet Grove 84-45.

Center Gavin Aydelotte had 18 points, and guards Darrell Sweeting and Sanjae Moncrieff had 13 points each. Benjamin advances to the District Final on Friday vs. Jupiter Christian.

Benjamin started off the game 19-0, and from there, they never looked back. They hit multiple threes in the first quarter to ultimately end the quarter with a 32-12 lead. Then, in the second quarter, it was more of the same; the Bucs continued to drain threes and score a lot of fastbreak points.

Benjamin excels in running the break, which is where most of their points are scored. Besides shooting great from three tonight, Benjamin is usually very reliant on their paint game with many slashers and inside scorers on the team.

Ultimately, Benjamin was up 53-22 at the half. In order to get a running clock for the rest of the game, a team must be up by 35 points. Benjamin made sure that happened early on in the third quarter to end the game quicker. The starters played for the first six minutes of the quarter, and then the younger players were able to come in and give the starters some rest for the upcoming District Finals game.

Then, the fourth quarter was basically an extension of the third quarter, as the Bucs continued to pass the ball extremely well and shoot the ball the best they have all season.

Team captain and senior Mark Cueto was happy with the way the Bucs played.

“I thought we played really well. We were the higher seed and took care of business against Inlet Grove. I saw some great passing and the defense was really solid for most of the game,” says Cueto.

The team is having its best individual campaign in nearly a decade, as they have the opportunity to win their first district title in eight years. This gives the team something to truly battle for in Friday’s game.

“We haven’t won the District Championship in eight years so I’m excited to end that streak on Friday. I also really want to win it for coach since I’ve known him since eighth grade and I know how much it will mean to him,” says Cueto.

Cueto is also impressed with the team’s chemistry compared to last year.

“I think one of the reasons we’re playing better than we did last year is because of our chemistry. We’ve been bonding with each other all year and all view each other as a family. By hanging out on weekends, for example, we become more than just a teammate to each other,” says Cueto.

However, Cueto realizes that the team is not perfect; he acknowledges that there are ways for the team to improve. One of these ways is certainly to have a strong mindset.

“One thing that I think we can improve on is not letting bad plays and losses get in our heads. We have to have the sort of mentality where we can move on from our mistakes. I feel like sometimes when the game isn’t going our way we let ourselves get down and that affects how we play,” says Cueto.

As can be seen from this game tonight, Benjamin is a very good team that plays well with each other. They have a legitimate chance to go all the way and bring another championship home for the Bucs.