By C. Christian Schmid, Director, Middle School Athletics and D-E Health & Wellness
Throughout the long winter months, the bleachers were packed with cheering spectators, all voicing words of encouragement for the athletes and pride for the Bulldog Nation.
The girls basketball team had a terrific season, with solid, satisfying victories in the last two games to secure a 7-7 record. Team highlights included sweeps of the two-game series with Elisabeth Morrow, Alpine, and Green Meadow and an epic comeback from ten points down in the fourth quarter against South Hackensack. Although that game ended in a two-point defeat, the comeback epitomized the grit and determination of this team, which fought hard for its victories. The team unity, sportsmanship, and general approach to the game were excellent all year, and this allowed for tremendous improvement in skills for all the girls and strong improvement in teamwork. Our individual standouts for the year were Co-Captain India Marseille ’20, an eighth grader who started every game and often played the entire game. She finished the year with 108 points. Our other co-captain, starting point guard Jenna Galgano ’20, capped an impressive Middle School career with an excellent eighth grade year. She was a wonderful leader on the floor. All in all it was a great season.
The boys White Team was in a rebuilding mode this year, composed of mostly seventh graders. The team finished 4-10, with a strong performance from eighth grader Aidan Pink ’20, who led the team in scoring and assists. New D-E student and eighth grader Ronit Daryanani ’20 played with great energy inside the paint, grabbing rebounds and finishing strong to the basket on every fast break. Ronit scored an impressive 30 points in an early season win against Teaneck Charter School. The boys improved greatly over the season, particularly on defense, finishing with strong wins over Collegiate and an undefeated Fieldston squad. Coaches Jon Egan and Paul Jung ʼ94 were proud of the perseverance and poise that this team exhibited over the course of the season.
The boys of the Blue Team may not have won as many games as they would have liked; however, they were the epitome of what a team is. The boys came to the court each and every day ready and willing to work hard to improve their skills and learn about the game of basketball. Teammates both encouraged and played for each other during games, as well as practices. And they played hard for all four quarters—no matter what the score was or how much time was remaining in the game. This team had heart, which says a lot about who these young men are, not just as basketball players but also as people. Some high points of the season include a win against South Hackensack in which the Bulldogs turned a seven-point halftime deficit into a nine-point lead going into the fourth quarter, and a win against a Montclair-Kimberley team that saw the Bulldogs outscore MKA 7-0 in the fourth quarter. Drew Alfano ’22 averaged 11 points per game and Danny Boxer ’21 averaged 7.5 for the Bulldogs.