By Gideon Hyman ’20
Wolverine’s boys’ basketball is off to a great start this season. The freshman team is 11-4, JV is undefeated and the varsity team is 11-6 as of press date. The middle school teams are also doing well as the seventh grade team is 3-0 and the eighth grade team is 2-1.
The varsity squad beat rival, Loyola, on Jan. 5 in their first league game. The team is mostly made up of juniors and seniors, except for three freshman: Johnny Juzang ‘20, Mason Hooks ‘20 and Terren Frank ‘20. The varsity team is led by star guard Cassius Stanley ‘19, who made an immediate impact last year as a freshman. With the departure of point guard Wolfgang Novogratz ‘16, it will be interesting to see if senior Ali Iken ‘17 will take over his role. Many believe the team lost its first couple of games due to the young team’s lack of chemistry. To make up for this lost time, the squad practices five times a week for two hours. During practice the team watches film, runs drills and conditions. The squad also lifts five days a week to work on strength. Most of the team’s games have been in tournament play so far, but as the season progresses there will be more league games. The varsity squad is coached by program head David Rebibo, who is in his second year as coach. Rebibo had a great start to his Wolverine career last year, when he led the varsity team to a CIF championship.
“We as a program are growing and continuing to develop. I am excited for the future and think, as our culture continues to develop, the success of our program will only get better. I am very excited for our program!” Rebibo said.
This season, the JV team is also off to a good start. The squad is undefeated, winning all of its tournaments and games thus far. The JV team goes through similar practices as the varsity squad. JV is mostly made up of sophomores, except for Brase Dottin ‘20, Holden McRae ‘20 and Spencer Hubbard ‘20. The team is coached by Steve Moore and practices six days a week for two hours each. The squad is focused on having a successful season.
“I think we have a great group of guys, and if we execute like we are supposed to and we go as hard as we do in practice, then we have a good chance to go undefeated,” McRae said.
The freshman team has been doing very well through their first few games. The team, coached by Dagem Asfaw, runs practices similar to varsity and JV and practices six days a week. The freshman team finished 9-3 in pre-league tournaments against league opponents like Chaminade and Alemany. At this winning rate, the 2017 season is looking good for the freshman team.
“I think our team will be much more successful than the previous freshman team and we will have a winning season,” guard Harry Thoeny ‘20 said.
The middle school teams have also been playing well. The eighth grade team, coached by Pierson Williams, has also been playing well. The team beat Paul Revere and Campbell Hall, but lost to Brentwood. The team practices for one to two hours at the middle school. Eighth grade basketball looks to have a strong season and possibly win it all.
“I think our team is getting a lot better and growing to play as a complete unit,” forward Ethan Lachman ‘21 said.
The seventh grade team, coached by Tellis Frank, is undefeated so far, beating Brentwood, Paul Revere and Campbell Hall. The team practices at the Middle School, three times a week for an hour and a half. With performances like those against Brentwood and Paul Revere, the team is heading in a good direction. Both middle school squads competed in a game on Wednesday but results for both teams were unavailable as of press time.
“I feel like our season is going really well so far and our winning streak will continue,” guard Jonathan Nehorai ‘22 said.