The Newspaper of Irvington High School

The Irvington Voice

The Newspaper of Irvington High School

The Irvington Voice

The Newspaper of Irvington High School

The Irvington Voice

    Boys Basketball 2023-2024 Season Recap

    Safwan Malik (12) spots up for a three-point shot as Mason Davis (12) drives with the ball.
    Devam Parekh
    Safwan Malik (12) spots up for a three-point shot as Mason Davis (12) drives with the ball.

    On Friday, February 9, the boys varsity basketball team ended their season with a game against American High School.

    They played well at the beginning of the season, picking up solid victories over College Park, Piedmont Hills, Arroyo, and Newark Memorial. Assistant Coach Kevin noted the impressive win over Newark Memorial with their star player scoring an incredible 35 points as one of the highlights of the season along with winning against College Park early in the season, something they have never done before. These early wins led to a quick 4-2 start, displaying what the team could do when healthy.

    The quick start featured impressive offensive displays, including blowing out Piedmont Hills 65-44 on opening night. After a loss to Dougherty Valley, the team rebounded with a win versus College Park. Once again, Irvington showed their offensive prowess by scoring 74 points in the win. Their next game was a heartbreaker to San Leandro, losing 69-66. There was still reason for optimism after the loss and they rebounded quite quickly with two straight wins versus Newark Memorial and Arroyo.

    However, injuries began to mount and they finished the season 6-20. Overall, multiple factors caused this record, as Krish Bahel (12) stated, “There were many injuries throughout the seasons, and we lost multiple players to grade issues.” Due to these factors, the team had inconsistent lineups and that led to poor execution of the game plan. Despite these setbacks, the players did their best to overcome those challenges, trying to develop chemistry while players went in and out of the lineup.

     The game plan itself had to be adjusted heavily from last year as Bahel explained, “Our team this year is nowhere near as big as the team we had last year,” leading to them playing a more fast-paced style of basketball by pressuring teams in the backcourt and trying to force steals. Assistant Coach Kevin expected “to speed up the game as much as possible on offense and especially on defense” to diminish the size and strength disparity, but the team lost their star player Mason Davis (12) due to an ankle injury early on in the season, leading to players playing positions they naturally wouldn’t. These adjustments hindered the players’ ability to be productive.

    Additionally, because of numerous injuries, Bahel expressed that the team lost their ability to play as a unit. Assistant Coach Kevin also expressed the impact of the loss of their star player, stating, “He really did do everything: he played defense, was our best attacker and passer, top scorer, and one of the top rebounders.” Mason’s loss was felt, leading to disjointed play on defense and offense, but towards the end of the season, they found their stride and started to play together again. 

    Overall, this season ran deeper than the standings. As Rahul Shah (12) stated, there were eleven seniors on the team playing their last high school season. This created a sense of urgency amongst the seniors, resulting in their offense and defense being stellar at the beginning of the season. Towards the end of the season, when injuries decreased, Bahel stated, “We picked it up on our scoring” and “got up many shots on Moreau,” ending off the season on a high note.

     Irvington showed their grit after a blowout loss to Moreau Catholic. The Vikings beat American High School 58-51, once again flashing the potential they showed early in the season. They lost to Kennedy High School; however, bounced back and beat Newark Memorial 66-60. Irvington refused to let the mid-season struggles define them and was able to pull off those two wins. The team was able to split their season series versus American and swept Newark Memorial.

    Assistant Coach Kevin also noted the team’s exceptional poise and perseverance as “losing that many games can be devastating to players, but [the team] didn’t quit on each other and played hard all the way to the last game.” He reflected, “The life lesson learned throughout the year was that not everything is going to be great, but you have to keep fighting and stay positive.” 

    The team featured many Seniors; however, the underclassmen and coaches look towards next season with hope. This season showed the perseverance the team had, fighting through injuries and still remaining together. They hope the returning players next year are able to make some improvements through the off-season, and the new players the team adds help them get better.

    About the Contributor
    Devam Parekh
    Devam Parekh, Staff Writer
    Devam Parekh (11) is excited to be a part of The Voice for the first time. He joined The Voice to be more engaged with school activities and further his writing abilities.
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