Gladiator Basketball Bounces Back

By Janmak Saji


For the first time in months, Gladiators returned to the stands to cheer and to the court to play basketball. Compared to the typical year, many changes were made to accommodate players' safety.


Masks were mandatory for everyone watching the game, whether they were a referee, visitor, or cheerleader. Athletes wear masks to a point of tolerance while playing and are tested for COVID-19 weekly. Enforcing mask protocols is heavily dependent on the referees and what they view as safe behavior. The gym was well ventilated and the crowd was at 25% capacity. There were markings on the bleachers to indicate where spectators could sit and keep a six feet distance.


Source by Saanvi Mirchandani

Senior Kristos Fernandez shoots a free throw during the first quarter.


As the opening whistle blew and the ball was thrown into the air for tipoff, the battle between the varsity boys' basketball team and Mepham began. New Hyde Park came out victorious for the tipoff but ended up struggling and losing the first quarter at a score of 1-13. As the second quarter began, NHP fought hard and stormed back in an attempt to recapture the lead. Their offense was a lot more efficient and they outscored Mepham putting 15 points on the board. However, despite their efforts, Mepham maintained the lead with the half coming to close with a score of 16-26.


Source by Saanvi Mirchandani

Junior Dominick Fulgieri plays defense against Mepham; the team huddles with Coach Eustache to discuss plays during a timeout.


The third quarter of the basketball game was another struggling quarter for New Hyde Park. Their offense was unfortunately unfruitful, whereas Mepham was aggressive and pushed their lead to 28-44. In the fourth and final quarter, NHP fought hard playing strong offense and defense. Not wanting to give up, Coach Eustache and the players played their best quarter of the game and significantly cut the deficit that was present by the end of the third quarter.


"It was great being back on the court for the first time in months. With the limited amount of time we’ve had to practice, the game was a clear representation of the intensity and effort we need to bring to the rest of the season," said senior basketball player Benjamin Mammen.


Source by Saanvi Mirchandani

Focusing on the action on the court, sophomore Nicholas Rios is in the midst of his first varisty basketball game; junior Arshdeep Singh and senior Kristos Fernandez warm up before the game starts.


Although the boys' basketball team lost the first game of the season, they proved that they are perseverant as they finished the game with only a nine-point deficit. The team is far from giving up and are excited to see what this season will bring.


The varsity cheerleaders were also present on the sideline during the game. They were all required to wear masks during their performance, and they cheered words of encouragement for the athletes to keep them motivated.


Source by Saanvi Mirchandani

The varsity cheerleaders enthusiastically encourage the players throughout the entire game.