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  • Alex Salentine '26 & Julia Pellegrini ’26

Wildcats Split Bruce Basketball Games

Updated: Feb 13, 2023

The Varsity Boys' Basketball team celebrates their victory.

On the night of January 10th, the Irish and the Wildcats went up against each other in a packed USF Hilltop to compete for the lead in the 76th Bruce-Mahoney series. A notable three Freshmen were on the starting lineup — Steele Labagh, Caeden Hutcherson, and Raymond Whitley, who lined up alongside Kreekor Karageuzian and John Squire.

The first half was back and forth in terms of scoring, with both teams being consistent in points and defense. However, the heroic rebounds by Raymond Whitley and the dominating performance in the paint by John Squire are deserving of mention. As the minutes went by, the Irish started to turn over the ball, a pattern which would plague them throughout the game.

The third quarter was where the game really turned in favor of the ’Cats. The Irish continued to turn the ball over at an unsustainable rate, which affected them in a visible way. The Irish’s trap strategy for containing the Wildcats was backfiring on them due to excellent and far passes by the ’Cats.

Additionally, the excellent rebounding for the Wildcats, led by Raymond Whitley, all contributed to SHC beginning to unravel. All three Freshmen, Labagh, Hutcherson, and Whitley contributed this quarter, with a combined total of 28 points scored between them. To top off an incredible quarter, junior Marcus Bast hit a buzzer-beater 3-pointer from well beyond the arc.

The 4th quarter was dominated by Caeden Hutcherson and Raymond Whitley, who combined for a total of 14 of the 21 points scored by the Wildcats in the quarter, which justifies the near continual chants of, “He’s a freshman!” SI cleaned up and completed their dominant victory over SHC with a final score of SI 78 SHC 58, a dominant victory.

The crowd for SI was also a huge influence, as Assistant Coach Jamal Baugh said, “If you can control the noise and execute, you will always be victorious.” The SI student section brought a lot of energy to the game, with their encouraging and loud chant which urged the Wildcats on.

The Varsity Girls' Basketball team huddles on the court.

On January 25, the Saint Ignatius Wildcats took the court hoping to take home the win of the series. The energy was high, and USF was flocked by SI students all donning black. The three Seniors Emily Ennis, Brigette Mahoney, and Jaclyn McDonough started the game; accompanied by Junior Mackenzie Eggert and Sophomore Meaghan Manning. The team gave it their all, but the shots just weren’t falling, resulting in a 54-36 Irish victory.

Both teams marched onto the court hyped up with energy. Wildcat Nation brought next level enthusiasm for their team, so much that the officials had to ask for the music to stop playing. This energy carried through to the Wildcat’s defense with high intensity ball pressure and multiple steals from their full court press.

Fired up from the beginning, Senior Brigette Mahoney left her heart on the court trying to bring her team to victory. Scoring all of the Cat’s 10 points in the first quarter, Brigette ended the game with 16 points and a perfect free throw percentage. From her first three, it was clear that she wouldn’t stop fighting and trying to lead her team to victory, despite injury to one of their leading scorers.

The Cats never go down without a fight, but sometimes a little more is needed. “We played our hearts out, but what it came down to was our final effort and pushing through at the end,” explained Frosh Julia Alcantara.

The effort, energy, and intention was there, but the ball didn’t bounce our way. The Bruce-Mahoney series is now tied at 2-2, leaving the baseball game as the deciding factor of who gets to take home the trophy

Alex Salentine ’26 & Julia Pellegrini ’26 are Vol. 71 Contributing Editors

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