By Alex Bahena ’19
On Feb. 7 the Pritzker Boys’ Varsity Basketball team took on Noble Academy at the Pritzker Gym. This game was extra special because they were paying homage to the seniors on the squad.
The Pritzker Jaguars were in for a spectacular game once again. They were taking on the Griffins from Noble Academy in a rematch from last seasons Senior Night, which the Jaguars unfortunately lost 88-92 in an overtime game.
With it being Senior Night, coaches Chris Duncan, junior and senior Biology teacher, and Peter Ryan, senior Literature teacher, set a starting five of all seniors. The line up consisted of: Point Guard #3 Abriel Cortez, Shooting Guard #20 Nathan Sotelo, Center #1 Julian Harris, Power Forward #5 Styles Avant- Pinkson, Small Forward #11 Israel Chairez. The lineup was announced to the Chicago Bulls song used during their player introductions, so this game was going to be serious.
The jump ball was won by the Griffins, but the possession of the ball would change very quickly. Sotelo would gain control of the ball and opened up the game with a shot from the three point line. This was the start of the Jaguars hot streak. Each player was getting their shots in, but the Griffins were not giving up just yet. Seconds before the end of the first quarter, a player from Noble Academy had a tremendous block stopping the Jaguars in the paint, and stopping them from scoring before the end of the quarter. As a result, The first quarter ended with Pritzker up 21-9.
The second quarter was just as intense as the first quarter with both teams stretching the floor and getting their shots in. Before half time, the game was going in favor of the Jaguars with a score of 31-15. Whatever Coach Haywood from Noble Academy said must have really inspired the opposing team because they were shooting more confidently, and they were able to cut the gap with a score of 36-31.
What was a 16 point gap at the half, was cut to a one point gap in the fourth quarter with a score of 38-37. It was at this moment that the game was looking like a flashback to the previous year’s Senior Night where the Griffins managed to take the Jaguars to overtime. The spectators decided to bring out a tactic that is usually used by opposing school’s bench in where the bench says “D-Up,” which means to bring up the defense, so the other team won’t score. After this chant, the Jaguars managed to go on a 15 to 5 run, which gave the Jaguars the lead once again.
The Jaguars concluded their night of celebration with a score of 53-42.
Senior Abriel Cortez said, “We played very well as a team. Individually, I played my best game this season. I managed to get a career high of 38 points.” Cortez then said, “We played so well because there wasn’t a time [where] there wasn’t communication.” Senior Nathan Sotelo added, “We performed really well. We worked to the point where we had the lead.”
The game ended with the Jaguars getting their revenge against the Griffins after the Jaguars Senior Night was ruined last year. The team and spectators celebrated the victory as DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win” played through the gym’s speakers.
Special thanks to our wonderful seniors for another great game and season: Abriel Cortez, Andre Arguijo, Styles Avant-Pinkston, Julian Harris, Israel Chairez, and Nathan Sotelo.