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The Current

‘Quadruple-header’ basketball games to bring in more school spirit

Senior Brad Smith goes for the shot in the first ever quadruple header game. Photo by Maddie Meilinger

On Friday, January 31, the Bear River Basketball teams held their first quadruple-header Homecoming against the Foothill High Mustangs, each of the teams – Varsity and Junior Varsity Girls and Boys – playing in one jammed-packed night. 

The Bruin Girls Junior Varsity and Varsity both snatched the win from Foothill, with the Junior Varsity and Varsity Boys, losing both their games.

Sophomore Guard Julia Pisenti on the Varsity Girls Basketball team, described how her game played out.

“I think the game went amazing,” she said. “We all worked really hard and our teamwork was better than ever because we were really focusing on the court. I played probably my best game of the season, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the energy and help of my team … We found moments to laugh in the game and I think that was good because it kept us relaxed and kept us playing hard.”

Freshman Guard on the Junior Varsity Elena Keynes felt similar to Pisenti.

“We did pretty good,” she said. “Foothill was really aggressive and they hit some people, punched some people but overall we had good passes and good shooting.”

Pisenti continued to explain what won her team the game.

“I think our offense was really working during the game and we were running our plays right, and even when we messed up, we found a way to recover,” she said. “… We could have improved our intensity on defense but overall we played well.”

This past homecoming game was the first time Bear River would have hosted a quadruple-header. This new approach to schedule basketball games was established by the Pioneer Valley League in hopes of gaining more support for all four of the teams and allowing teams to share that Friday night game that “everybody wants,” according to Activities Director Matt MacDonald.

“[The league] really felt like it wasn’t equitable [for the boys to always have games on Friday night],” he said. “So, they said ‘Hey, what if we did a game, where all four teams play, and then everybody gets to have that Friday game all the time.’ The girls get to watch the boys and the boys get to watch the girls, and try to build more comradery between programs.”

Pisenti commented on how this “comradery between programs” was built during the games on Friday. 

“I went to both the games before mine and the Boys Varsity which was fun to cheer them on,” said Pisenti. “ … It was really fun to cool off from the game with all my friends.”

Boys Varsity Coach Ralph Lewis explained the motivation behind this change in game scheduling this season.

“The league wants games with traditionally low attendance to have more fans, so now all league games are combined with the girls and boys games playing at the same location on Friday nights,” he said. “ … It really helps the lower levels and girls playing in front of larger crowds. And it’s fun to have a full house in rival games such as Colfax.”

Other players on the basketball teams voiced their opinion of having all four teams play on the same night.

“I think it’s cool,” said Senior Shooting Guard Brekyn Vasquez, on the Varsity Boys team. “It’s a lot of basketball, but I think the more basketball you can see, the better.”

“I think it’s a little crowded, but I think it’s good for the school because then everyone can see [the teams] play,” said Sophomore and Junior Varsity Shooting Guard Ryan Downs.

“I think it was really cool that all four teams got to play in one night because it brought in quite the crowd,” said Pisenti. “We always love support and normally we don’t get as much when our games are separate from the boys, so it was nice to see the schools coming to support both teams.”

Despite their losses, both Downs and Vasquez shared how their team, and themselves, have grown as a basketball player.

“The coaches helped me grow my mentality, like say something positive and not get down on myself if I do something wrong,” said Downs.

“We, as a team, ha[ve] grown a lot,” said Vasquez. “We had a lot harder teams that we played in the beginning, and I think we were all just able to come together and play as a team.”

The next and final Basketball quadruple-header that these Bruins will face will take place on February 14 against the Lindhurst Blazers. 

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‘Quadruple-header’ basketball games to bring in more school spirit