Basketball approaches final stretch, eyes EA rematch

Front page – David Kearney ’22 shoots over Cardinal O’Hara in a 42-53 loss, December 15, 2021- courtesy of communications

During a difficult yet exciting season, Fords Basketball has overcome a number of challenges including injuries, player transfers, and misfortune. In many games, they have been a bounce or two away from a win.

The players have maintained their poise, hoping to end the year strong.

“We have a really good team this year. We all work hard,” Sixth Former Ryan Rogers said. “We all play for each other and move the ball. And it’s been fun to watch us succeed in getting better as teammates and individuals.”

Sixth Former Matt Kearney discussed his excitement for the final push. 

“​​I’m really looking forward to our senior night,” Matt Kearney said. “We left a lot on the table against EA in the first game. I think we can play a lot better than that, and I think we will. There’s a good atmosphere there. We missed that last year and I value that a lot. That’s something I really want to experience.”

In the last matchup, Episcopal went ahead early. Although the Fords clawed their way back in the fourth quarter, their comeback fell short by one point. On Friday, during their last home game of the season, they will have a chance to play them again.

“They beat us the first time, so we need to get them back,” Rogers said.

Matt Kearney’s twin brother, Sixth Former Dave Kearney, explained the challenges the team has faced this season.

“Coming in with a lot of new guys and guys who haven’t seen a lot of varsity minutes is something that we’ve definitely had to grow with this year. We’ve had to gain experience as we’ve gone along, and we’re just trying to leave a good mark for the young guys. We want to be good role models for them.”

Coach Bernie Rogers has high praise for the Sixth Form leaders.

“The practice has been excellent. We’ve had eight great seniors who have been great examples and have been ready to play and coachable and really cared about each other on the bench,” Coach Rogers said. “They have really done a good job of including younger guys, leading by example, and trusting the coaches. They’re ready when their number is called, and if they’re not on the court, they’re supporting whoever is.”

Ryan Rogers believes this emanates from the team culture.

“The culture is very, very positive in the locker room environments. It’s easy for people to make mistakes, but everyone has each other’s backs, and we’re able to pick each other up every time,” Rogers said.

The Fords huddle in a 63-55 win over Friends Central, December 1, 2021 – Communications

When it comes to being a mentor for the younger players, Rogers believes the Fords have done a fantastic job.

“We have a lot of young kids in the program,” Coach Rogers said. “And so we’re trying to set the expectations that even if we’re not the most talented team, we’re always a team who works hard and plays to the final whistle.”

“We’re just trying to be good teammates, and then we’re just trying to compete,” Dave Kearney said. “We want to show them that to win games, you have to complete the whole game and at practice—everything matters.”

Matt Kearney spoke about his desire to have an impact on the basketball program.

“I want to finish strong, show the younger guys how to win, leave this season on a good note, and give us some momentum going into next year. The future of a basketball program here means a lot to me.”

Matt Kearney ’22

“I want to finish strong, show the younger guys how to win, leave this season on a good note, and give us some momentum going into next year. The future of a basketball program here means a lot to me,” Matt Kearney said. “I want to be a positive influence and help the program in the future with winning and being the best teammate I can be.”

Coach Rogers sees a lot of talent in the group.

“We’ve had a great group that battled every game. The ball really hasn’t bounced our way,” Coach Rogers said. “So we’re hoping to finish strong and try to get a couple more wins, and maybe, you know, have a good run in the pace of the playoffs.”

Author: Mitav Nayak '22

Mitav Nayak has contributed to The Index since 2018. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief. Mitav won the fall 2019 Pennsylvania School Press Association (PSPA) Philadelphia-area Student Journalism Competition for Newspaper Sports Story Writing and was to compete for the state title in the spring of 2020 (canceled due to COVID).