The crowd was silent, anxiously awaiting the tip-off that would begin the Rebels’ boys Varsity playoff game. Just before the ball was thrown, a voice screamed, “I.” Everyone was confused, not really knowing what to say. A few seconds later, the same voice screamed “I believe!” This time, a few more voices echoed him. “I believe that,” the energetic senior screamed. This time, even more people parroted the cry. As the Rebels brought the ball up the court, the excited fans began to jump up and down. Finally, the rowdy senior screamed, “I believe that we will win!” This time, the raucous crowd yelled the phrase and did so repeatedly until the Rebels scored their first points. Little did they know at this point that they were in for a roller-coaster-ride of a game.
The team started out really strong, energized by the loud and spirited crowd. Senior Captain Philip Silverstein led the way and started the game scoring early and often. This set the tone, and he finished with a team high—17 points. The crowd fueled the players, and the players fueled the crowd. Whenever the team scored, the crowd would cheer louder, and whenever the crowd would cheer louder, the team would play better. It was a recipe for success, and it was clear skies until halftime. At the half, South doubled the opponent’s score.
Sadly for the Rebels, the second half didn’t go quite so well. The team played their hearts out, and the home supporters never lost hope, but the final result was not one that they desired. JFK Bellmore stormed back in the second half, beginning the third quarter with a huge run. Slowly and steadily, they began to chip away at the Rebels’ lead. With a few minutes to spare, Bellmore took their first lead of the night. But the Rebels had been cheering all night, so they were not willing to give up. The two teams went back and forth, trading blow after blow. With about a minute left, Bellmore player Marco Travagoline made a three-pointer to put the game out of reach. The game ended with a final score of 46-44 in favor of Bellmore.
It was not the outcome that the Rebels had hoped for, but they kept their heads held high. They knew that they did all that they could and had nothing to be ashamed of. They ended the game with respect, pride, and class, which the team exuded all throughout the season’s ups and downs.