Phoenix Lacrosse Report from Coach Reycroft
April 10, 2019- Versus Darrow School on Phoenix Field- Weather: 50 degrees, mostly sunny
The Phoenix Lacrosse team opened the season on April 10 versus HVAL opponent Darrow School. The game opened with anticipation of control of the game. Which team would handle the ball the most? On ground balls the game was wide open. Junior Parker Anderson and senior Mike Bernardi did excellent work at the face-off winning the ball. Loose ball challenges were often in scrums and midfielder freshman Daniel Hall lead the team with twelve ground balls, a couple he won near the cage and finished with a goal. Also notable on ground balls was sophomore James Jiménez. On offense, the Phoenix moved the ball well and dodged with opportunities at the cage. The attack combined for thirteen shots lead by Mike Bernardi with nine shots. Mike also had five assists to back door feeds to sophomore Jimmy Donaghy who had five goals. The attack also played with awareness on shots and rode the Darrow clears well. At the midfield, the ball was controlled well on clears and moved around on offense. Daniel Hall led the team with fourteen shots, and six goals. The entire team registered 42 shots showing the shared offense and ball control. The defense was anchored by junior Kyle Stickler in the cage who had five saves and five ground balls with only four goals allowed, and cleared the ball to the open outlet to initiate offense. He even tallied one assist on a clearing pass to Mike Bernardi. The help in front of Kyle on defense was led by Harold Freeman who forced turnovers and played for the open ground balls. Also, junior Cameron Mulhall and junior William Brogan and sophomore Phillip Silverman combined for multiple stops and five ground balls. The Phoenix won the victory 19-4 and it was the first HVAL win of the season. The next opponent is tomorrow, April 15, versus Chase Collegiate School, an out of HVAL opponent.
Showing both skill and sportsmanship, the Woodhall basketball team bested Maplebrook on Saturday by a score of 44 – 28. Michael Bernardi led the way with 23 points and 24 rebounds. Parker Anderson had 10 points and 10 rebounds, and Jimmy Donaghy had 8 and 15. Owen Eichfeld rounded out the scoring with 5 points and Jack Wells had 4 big rebounds. Wiley Grantham, William Brogan, Ethan Beckner, Nate Schofield, and Smith McGinn all played well off the bench. Woodhall takes on Maplebrook again on Saturday in Bethlehem as we head into the home-stretch of the season.
The Woodhall basketball team lost to a tough, athletic Forman squad on Wednesday by a score of 45 – 31. Woodhall drew to within a few points early in the second quarter, but a 14 – 0 run by Forman shut the door by halftime. Nevertheless, Woodhall fought hard down the stretch, playing with hustle and skill, drawing fouls, hitting three-pointers, and making an exciting game of it for the rowdy home-court fans.
Senior Michael Bernardi led the team with 25 points while handling the point-guard duty in the teeth of an exhausting Forman defense. He also had 10 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 3 steals. Sophomore Jimmy Donaghy snatched 11 rebounds and added 2 points, while fellow sophomore Owen Eichfeld added 3 points and 2 steals. Rounding out the stats for the day were junior Garrett Cullinan with 4 rebounds, senior Wiley Grantham with 2, and junior Parker Anderson with 1 (to match his 1 point).
Woodhall will hope to bring some of the grit it showed in the 4th quarter today to its game at Maplebrook on Saturday.
Coach Noonan provides a tournament summary: The Woodhall Phoenix basketball team claimed a thrilling first place finish this weekend at the Maplebrook Invitational Tournament. Fighting through illness and injury, the Woodhall squad clawed its way to a 3 – 1 overall record and a margin-of-victory tiebreaker over the other one-loss teams in the tournament. Woodhall players and coaches cheered passionately throughout all the tournament games, as our own fortunes rose and fell with the play of Rumsey Hall and Glenholme. The intense, 30-minute running clock games tested our stamina, skill, and composure. In the end, we won the right to hoist the first place trophy for the first time.
Game 1 – Sherman
Win (45 – 33) Woodhall cruised to an opening game victory against a feisty Sherman team. Though we came out of the gate slowly, we found our footing halfway through the first period and never looked back. Michael Bernardi led the team with 16 points, 19 rebounds, 6 assists, and a keen sense of sportsmanship. Parker Anderson was not far behind with 12 points and 5 steals. Jimmy Donaghy added 7 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals. Owen Eichfeld chipped in 5 points and Jack Wells had 3. Ethan Beckner nabbed his first points of the season in the fourth quarter and a number of players, including Smith McGinn and Nate Schofield, saw substantial minutes off the bench.
Game 2 – Glenholme
Loss (33 – 37) A sleepy Woodhall team had trouble getting going for this early morning game, but we woke up midway through the first half, which led to one of the most exciting contests of the tournament. The loss of key starter Jimmy Donaghy to the flu put the pressure on Michael Bernardi, who had to play through an aggressively physical Glenholme defense. Despite a few tough calls by the referee, we managed to tie the game at 33. It was only a tenacious in-bound defense by Glenholme that kept us from winning the game in regulation. In overtime, a 5thfoul sent Bernardi to the bench and we could not find an offensive rhythm in the extra period—and so the victory fell to Glenholme. Bernardi finished the game with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Parker Anderson had 8 points, Jack Wells had 2 points, and Garret Cullinan added 2 points and 6 rebounds. Nate Schofield, who was called in to replace Donaghy, turned in an admirable performance on both sides of the ball.
Game 3 – Rumsey Hall
Win (29 – 20) Woodhall had the good fortune to draw Rumsey immediately after their wild, overtime game against Glenholme, and we pressed our advantage from beginning to end. We forced them to take outside shots, and, when they weren’t falling, we stretched our lead with relentless cuts inside. We fought off Rumsey’s mid-game surge by drawing fouls in the paint and converting our free-throws. In the end, we earned a convincing win. Bernardi finished with 19 points and 19 rebounds. Anderson had 10 points, and Garret Cullinan had 14 rebounds. Again, Jack Wells and Nate Schofield turned in great performances up and down the court.
Game 4 – Maplebrook
Win (30 – 23) The final game of the tournament saw the Phoenix take charge early-on with outside shooting and quick passes in the paint. Though the outcome was never in doubt, a late barrage of three-pointers from Maplebrook forced us to summon every last bit of energy we had left. An exhausted but relentless Michael Bernardi ended with 17 points (73 for the tournament) and 16 rebounds. Parker Anderson had 2 points and 4 rebounds, a hot-shooting Jack Wells finished with 8 points, and both Garret Cullinan and Wiley Grantham pulled down an impressive 8 boards.
It was after this game that we learned we had won the points tiebreaker against Rumsey and Glenholme and that we had earned the right to take home the Maplebrook Invitational trophy. Congratulations to Woodhall on a rousing, victorious weekend on the hardwood.
Woodhall avenged its earlier loss against Glenholme with a convincing win on Wednesday, taking the game by a score of 54 – 43. The Phoenix came out of the gate strong, taking an early lead which it never relinquished.
Michael Bernardi led the attack with 25 points, 17 rebounds, and 4 assists. Jimmy Donaghy, back from injury, delivered 12 points, 14 rebounds, and 5 steals. Parker Anderson chipped in 9 points and 4 rebounds, and both Owen Eichfeld and Garrett Cullinan added 5 points and 4 rebounds (Garret was on pace for a big day on the boards, but early foul trouble held him back). Jack Wells played his usual strong defense and contributed 2 points and 3 rebounds. Giving key minutes off the bench were William Brogan, Wiley Grantham, Ethan Beckner, Nate Schofield, and Smith McGinn.
Woodhall will take its winning streak into the Maplebrook Invitational Tournament this weekend. The first game is at 4PM Friday against Sherman.
Reflections by Ms. Plotkin, Spanish Teacher & Dorm Parent
Zak Ebhrahim, author of The Terrorist’s Son: A Story of Choice, visited Woodhall on Tuesday, January 8th to spread a message of peace. On November 5th 1990, Mr. Ebrhahim’s father took the life of Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the Jewish Defense League, and helped orchestrate the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. After his father was sent to prison, Mr. Ebrahim experienced threats, violence, and social denigration. “I received a cut across my hand from wrestling a knife from someone I thought was a friend,” he recalled. After many years of hiding his lineage (including changing his name), Mr. Ebrahim now chooses to use his singularly impactful voice to encourage tolerance, open-mindedness, and peace.
Mr. Ebrahim spoke at length of his father’s zealotry and denial of others’ humanity. He explained he was raised to devalue the lives of non-Muslims. In an attempt to hide his upbringing, and his father’s past, he had moved homes 20 times by the age of 19. Mr. Ebrahim explains that his childhood left him ill-equipped for the ‘real world.’ “I had been raised to judge people based on arbitrary measurements, like a person’s race or religion.” During the 2000 presidential elections, Mr. Ebrahim went to a youth convention to discuss violence in schools. He discovered that one of the boys he had befriended was Jewish, and that unlike his father had warned him, there was no “natural animosity” between Jews and Muslims. He thought, “perhaps what my father taught me isn’t true.”
In his book he states, “The fact that my father went to prison…[meant that] he could not stop me from coming in contact with the sorts of people he demonized and discovering that they were human beings.” When he was still a teenager, Mr. Ebrahim got a job at an amusement park. It was the first time he was truly immersed in a heterogeneous environment. Mr. Ebrahim explained, “I had been taught that being gay was a sin, [and] that all gay people were evil. Not only were they evil, but they were trying to make me evil so that I would go to hell with them…[but] I had the opportunity to interact with some of the gay performers [at the amusement park] and found they were some of the kindest, least-judgmental people I had ever met. There was a young man in particular who I showed disdain towards because of his choice, and I saw the look in his eyes when I treated him this way, and it was impossible for me not to recognize that look that I had felt 1,000 times before. I didn’t know what it was like to be gay, but I was well-acquainted with being judged for things that were beyond my control. It was impossible for me to escape my own hypocrisy when faced with this experience.” Mr. Ebrahim informed the Woodhall Community that when faced with the challenge of overcoming what he had been taught in his youth, he reminds himself that hatred only produces more hate, but “belief in non-violence at least provides an opportunity.” Mr. Ebrahim explained to us that “ignorance cannot survive experience.” Once you meet those whom you’ve been taught to judge, or those you haven’t understood, or those who have judged you, it is only a matter of time before we realize that we are all more alike than different. Where there is humanity, there is compassion, and there is hope.