The Berkeley Carroll boy’s basketball team avenged last year’s championship-game loss with a 67–51 victory to secure its first-ever crown.
The top-seeded Lions squad didn’t leave anything to chance and pulled away in the second half after a slow start to beat No. 6 Trevor Day in the private school Class C title game at Fieldston last Sunday — silencing any remaining doubters.
“Last year we lost a heartbreaker in a close game,” said Berkeley Carroll junior forward Jimmy Council. “People continued to doubt us this season, but we continued to work hard. It feels great to prove those people wrong and get back here and be victorious.”
Berkeley Carroll’s day got off to a slow offensive start. It couldn’t get any momentum going. The defense was standing firm until Trevor Day (16–7) went a 9–0 run to end the first quarter and took an 11–7 lead.
“We were lackadaisical in the first quarter,” said Berkeley Carroll senior forward Chris Harper. “We knew we had to turn up the intensity.”
Council, who had 27 points on the afternoon, was instrumental in Berkeley Carroll’s victory. Junior forward Ryan Hubbs and freshman guard Lukas Yurisites both pitched in with 15 points apiece.
“It’s a really great feeling,” Harper said. “A lot of the seniors wanted it so bad last year. So we did it not only for ourselves, but for the them, as well as the whole school.”
Berkeley Carroll (16–7) started locking down the crown by coming out on a 13–2 run in the second quarter, which was capped by four-straight points from Council. The spurt helped the Lions outscore Trevor Day 23–13 in the quarter and go into halftime up 30–20. Berkeley Carroll used a 15–4 run in the first five minutes of the third quarter to increase its lead to 45–27.
“We slowed our offense down and took smarter shots,” Council said. “In the first quarter, we rushed our shots. We took a lot of jump shots pretty far from the basket.”
There were doubts Berkeley Carroll could return to the championship game this season. It lost six seniors, including three starters from last year’s team, and started two freshmen in the backcourt. Next year, the Lions team loses Harper and Eugene Clark, but returns 11 players, putting it in good position to defend its title.
“These guys know how to pay defense and how to win,” said Berkeley Carroll head coach Carmine Giovino. “Which is something you can’t teach.”