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An Episcopal, co-educational 100% boarding school in Middletown, Delaware for grades 9 ā€“ 12

Boys Basketball Finds Their Stride Thanks to Senior Leadership

Things started off a little rough for the boys basketball team due to a myriad of circumstances. They opened with a very difficult schedule, they had a season off while the rest of the state continued playing, and they were adding a lot of new players including multiple freshmen and sophomores that had never played a varsity basketball game in their careers. It was a big change from March 2020 when the seniors now were sophomores prepping for a final four game in the state tournament. Trying to get back to that high level quickly made the start of the season feel like a brand new team was trying to put the plane together while in the air. The team has found their wings and now in full flight and on a four game win streak. 

Three players that have helped lead the way are the senior starters of Brandon Graves ’22, Jake Kelly ’22, and Frank Koblish ’22. All three have specific roles to the team that have led to the team’s success. Brandon has been a force on the boards, securing close to 10 rebounds a game. “Brandon does such a great job, we almost forget to go help him rebound,” Jake said.  While his rebounds stand out, it is what he does on offense that is integral to helping the team. “We rely on Brandon to start the offense,” Jake stated. “For me on the outside, Brandon is really unselfish when he gets the ball on the inside. He can swing the ball to any of the shooters on the outside,” Frank added. 

When it was shifted to talking about what Frank’s shooting does for the team, Brandon piped in, “I’d put my life in Frank's hands!” When Frank finds his rhythm hitting 3-point shots, people can understand why Brandon feels that way. “Everyone starts collapsing on me when I get the ball on the inside. When Frank hits shots it opens the floor up and I would not have as many points if it were not for him,” Brandon elaborated. Frank’s ability to find a shooting rhythm either can help the Saints pull away from teams or keep the Saints in a game if they are down a few possessions. “Even if he has a slow start, we have full faith in him and we’re never out of the game if Frank is on the floor,” Jake said.  

While Jake is not the scorer that Frank and Brandon are, he has been dubbed the “Point God” by Brandon. Brandon elaborated again, “Jake gets everyone where they need to be, even in practice he is directing and brings the energy that sets a competitive tone.” Frank talked about what Jake’s defense has meant to the team, “In game, Jake has found his role and takes on the challenge of defending each team’s best player. Our opponents usually only have one or two guys that can score and Jake takes them out of the game.” 

The three senior starters have played a part in this win streak, but they were not remiss in talking about their teammates. Losing a couple of winnable games after the holiday break made everyone refocus and buy in. “Winning out has been a big point of emphasis because of some bad losses earlier in the season,” Frank said. He added “Everyone has had a part in setting the tone. Practices have become fast and competitive compared to the beginning of the season. The harder we practice, the easier the games become.” Jake added, “I want to give the young guys credit, they bring a lot to the team. We have to do our job as leaders and role models. They have responded and pushed us to be better.”