Bard Boys Basketball Wraps Up a Disappointing Season

Alexander “Paper Raptor” Ganias, ‘20

The boys basketball team at Bard High School Manhattan has had a tough stretch of losing seasons after the coaching change from Thomas McVeigh to Charles Sewell. It’s not right to blame the lack of success on the coaching staff, but a combined record of 7-25 over the last two seasons did not look promising for the team coming into the 18-19 campaign. However, looking at the roster at the start of the season, it seemed like things would be different. The team had a slew of new and returning faces, all of which brought a level of talent exceeding that of last year’s squad.

Things were looking up for the program. The team went into holiday break with a 3-3 record after a dominating win over Manhattan Village on December 20th, where three Raptors ended up in double figures (Liam O’Gorman (9th) 17, Luis Herrera (Y2) 16, Ryan Doebele (10th) 15). It looked even better after another great win over University Neighborhood (UNHS); the Raptors had a winning record for the first time this season, and it looked like nothing could stop them…

And just like that, something stopped them.

The Raptors went on to lose every single one of their league games after the win against UNHS, finally being eliminated from playoff contention at the hands of Community Health Academy of the Heights, in a hard-fought, but rather humiliating 87-58 defeat. This was reminiscent of last year’s team, where a 4 game winning streak was silenced by a 2-8 tailspin; both teams had lost their winning ways. But this year was supposed to be different, how could a team on a hot streak like that one, stop dead in its tracks? According to some of the players, like James Grayson (10th), “There wasn’t one moment”. Ori Shaham (Y2) also had some words about the team’s struggles: “I think post [holiday] break, the practice schedule gets more complicated. Key players weren’t there for some key games, and the game against Columbia Secondary (where Bard lost by one point on a last second missed shot) really killed our mood”. The boys picked it up for the final non-league game of the season, where they beat The Clinton School 65-56.

Yes, the Bard Boys Basketball has not met expectations set by the coaches, players and fans. The constant repetition of “we’ll be better next year” season after season, after not making the B division playoffs is disheartening. 5 seniors are graduating this year as members of the class of 2019 (congratulations), and in turn, will have to be replaced. However, that fateful phrase will be said again, in hopes that it will eventually come true; a wave of incoming freshmen will be accepted into BHSEC, and those who make the team will add more to what it already offers. The Raptors will have expectations of the playoffs. The future is bright, and there is legitimate promise in the young core of the team. They will be better next year. They will be better next year. The Bard Raptors will be better next year.