Unified basketball opens season strong in team effort victory


Jonny Ratner

Junior Jack O’Connor shoots the ball over a Marlborough opponent on Oct. 22. The unified basketball team won the game 60-30.

Andrew Roberts , Staff Writer

Unified basketball took down the Marlborough Panthers 60-30 in their season opener on Tuesday, Oct. 22, and everyone on the team found a way to contribute to the victory.

Though sophomore Andreas Bello and post graduate Kaleigh Barker co-led in scoring with 10 points each, all of their teammates helped out.  

“The biggest thing about this is everyone accomplishing what they set out to accomplish,” co-head coach and English teacher Alex Silva said. “For some people that might be scoring 10 baskets, for some people that might be passing a basketball.”

Some players, including Bello and post grad Nick Vaskas made an impact on defense. The entire team passed the ball around and finding open players to shoot, so many players contributed with assists as well.

“I think the team altogether played a really awesome game,” sophomore Tucker Paquette said.  “I’m very proud of all our guys and our coaches. We did a great job.”

Paquette contributed four points and assisted on multiple of senior Sofia Roumiantsev’s two-point jump shots.  

Junior Alex Reyes also made a big impact on offense, especially in the second quarter. Reyes finished with six points.

The team consists of a variety of students, and any student can play.  Many students with special needs participate, as do students without special needs.  Some members of the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams also play for the unified team, including sophomore James Clark and junior Kate McNeil.

All players got their chance to play in the new halftime skills competition.  

“I think [the skills competition] is a great thing, because some kids can have a hard time playing in a regular game,” co-head coach and applied arts and technology teacher Zbigniewa Giegucz said.  “This gives them the ability to do what they can do without everyone else trying to take the ball away from them.”

Marlborough scored the only three-point basket of the game, but short-distance shots got the job done for Algonquin, as they doubled Marlborough’s point total.  

Post grad Sam Morse even got high-fives from several audience members after scoring.

“We had a good crowd,” Giegucz said.  “We had teachers out here, we had a lot of parents, and they were into it.”