|Windham senior Matthew Fox gets off a shot in mid-air during|
the Eagles' boys' varsity basketball game against Edward Little
at Windham High on Thursday, Dec. 23. Edward Little won,
63-31. PHOTO BY MATT PASCARELLA
Windham High School’s boys’ basketball teams took on Edward Little before the holiday break and while the varsity lost 63-31 and EL beat the junior varsity 55-39, Windham’s first team got the program’s first win in three years against the Eddies.
The first team played a strong game and came out on top 52-35 on Thursday, Dec. 23, at Windham.
The game was tied at seven early on. EL broke away but Windham’s defense kept their lead small. Windham took advantage of EL errors to bridge the gap. Windham senior Will Mannette sunk a three. EL’s offense surged and led 33-16 at the half.
"It’s a reality check ... right now,” said Windham varsity boys’ basketball coach Chad Pulkkinen. “We’ve got to find a way to compete and get better ... guys got to come to work every day and improve and stick together no matter what.”
Pulkkinen said some of Windham’s younger players have stepped up and taken advantage of opportunities they’ve been given.
“We’re giving up early,” said Windham senior Matthew Fox. “We need to find something in us – mental toughness to pull ourselves out ... we need to work together and play as one.”
Fox added Windham is good enough to where they can get open shots, not just the first ones they see.
Windham put 15 points on the scoreboard in the second half, but EL took this one.
Although Edward Little had a small lead early on, Windham was not far behind. They were quick to get rebounds and gained on the Eddies. Windham shots weren’t landing.
Windham’s defense kept EL from scoring a lot in the first half. Windham freshmen Conor Janvrin and Joseph Blige both scored three-pointers. As did Windham junior Chase Wescott. Two points separated the teams shortly before the end of the half, but EL edged out 28-23 before the buzzer.
“We could play a lot better as a team,” said Windham freshman Landen Leavitt. “Just moving the ball around better and taking better shots.”
Leavitt said they had good defense at times, but overall, they need to play better as a team.
The Eagles worked hard to catch up in the second half. Windham fought, but EL got by.
Windham boys’ basketball JV coach Geoff Grigsby said the team did better seeing those areas that need work and fixing them in the moment. He said there are some talented players on the team, but they need to pay better attention to detail. The team took a step in the right direction today toward understanding what it takes to improve.
Windham was up by two after one quarter. It was close, but Windham maintained their lead for most of the game.
Windham freshmen Braycen Freese and sophomore Owen Dakin sunk three-pointers. Windham sophomore Stevie Stewart sunk two three-pointers in the first half.
Windham moved the ball well and got rebounds. Windham sophomore Dan Mitchell scored at the buzzer and Eagles led 26-19.
The Eagles kept up their intensity in the second half. Windham’s communication had them up by 10 at one point. They pressured and continued to be first to the ball. The Eagles would not be caught by the Eddies.
Mitchell said they got the win through a lot of team effort and playing together.
“These kids show up every day working their butts off,” said Windham boys’ basketball first team coach Noah Estey. “[This win] is them putting in the hard work ... and trusting in each other and going out and doing what they need to do.” <