The Highlanders Basketball Season Starts Off on a New Foot


Lifetouch Sports

Austin Ursuy boxes out his opponent from Utica High School.

Brianna McKerracher, Staff Writer

After finishing last year’s season with a final record of 0-21, the Rochester Adams boys varsity basketball team had a lot riding on their first game this year. On Tuesday, December 5,  Adams went to work, eventually ending the night with a win against the Utica High School Chieftains. They finished the game with a 25 point lead and a final score of 62-37. They started with seniors Jack Jenkins and Davis Reifel, junior Jake Schuler, sophomore Austin Ursuy, and freshman Ethan Emerzian.

Adams won the tip-off starting the first quarter. Less than a minute later, Ursey posted up in the paint and scored the first shot of the game. Multiple other baskets and foul shots followed soon after. The team’s aggressive man-to-man defense prevented Utica from scoring, keeping the game at 11-0. With about three minutes left in the quarter, a shooting foul gave the Chieftains their first point after making one of their two free throws. Following the foul shot Adams wasted no time, getting back down the court and scoring a 3 pointer. Then, Utica scored a layup shortly after, and Reifel finished the first quarter with a free throw giving the Highlanders a 16 point lead at 19-3.

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Jake Schuler drives to the basket during a game against Utica High School.

Utica started the second quarter with two successful free throw shots. Slowly throughout the span of eight minutes, The Chieftains started to make up for their less than productive first quarter. Even though Utica scored 13 points this quarter, Adams held a comfortable 11 point lead. They kept their lead by making multiple jump shots and playing aggressive defense. The teams ended the first half at 27-16.

As the second half began, more and more people started to show up for the team. The student section was growing rapidly and the crowd started to get excited about the probable win. The starting five began the third quarter and gave Utica an immediate shooting opportunity, but that was only the beginning. The ball flew up and down the court, both sides were putting shots up and making impressive moves under the basket. Halfway through the quarter, Schuler received a shooting foul, he made both of his shots, and put the score at 36-28. Following the free throws, both teams took advantage of multiple shooting opportunities and played aggressive offense. With about three seconds left, Reifel was 1 for 2 at the free throw line, Adams ended the quarter with a lead of 41-32.

Offensively and defensively Adams dominated the fourth quarter. They scored 21 points and held Utica to only five. The final score of the game was 62-37 with junior Solomon Shaw-Nichols scoring the last point of the game.

A lot of work in practice and out of practice went into their win. The team has been working on strengthening their defense which helped them tremendously in the game. The hard work and the drills that were run through in practice did a great job of preparing the team for their first win of the season.

“We have really been working hard on our defense just communicating, working hard, getting into our spots. I think over the last three weeks that has really been our main focus,” said varsity basketball coach Brad Crighton.

The players are especially glad that their first game of the season resulted in a victory. There is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment after working really hard at a goal and then achieving it. That’s exactly what the team did, and it started their season off with a positive, productive attitude.

“It feels really good we have been working really hard and it feels good to get the monkey off our backs,” said varsity sophomore Austin Ursuy.

Ursuy, along with the rest of the team, feels great about their win and hopes the rest of their season is as successful as their first game. Already the season is looking better than last year’s and there is nowhere to go but up for boys varsity basketball.