By Kevin McCaskill Jr.
Thursday was another historical day for FP SPORTS. I had never been to Sabis ICS or a sporting event at Sabis ICS.
Thursday was also the first game that fans were allowed at Sabis to watch the team.
Before the game started, I noticed that two players didn’t make the trip to Sabis for Holyoke: Mo Silva and Lordi Smith. The absence of Silva and Smith inside would effect the game, especially in the 2nd half.
In the first quarter, Holyoke was thriving without Silva and Smith. They got out to a early lead, led by Jaimiel Rivera. He scored 10 points in the 1st quarter, with 5 FT attempts.
Sabis came “out the blocks” stumbling. They had turnovers on their first handful of possessions to start the game. They were being sped up on offense and they were a step slow on defense.
Holyoke was ahead at the end of the 1st quarter 17-9. The timeout between the 1st and 2nd quarter was very animated on the Sabis sideline. HC Pat Ochoa vociferously implored his team to give better effort on the floor. He wasn’t happy with the turnovers.
Sabis started to play better in the 2nd quarter. They were getting buckets offensively but they still couldn’t stop Holyoke on offense.
Holyoke’s offense started to falter in the 2nd quarter. Chauncey Ruiz was the only player to score a FG in the quarter 😳. Holyoke’s sharpshooter, Brian Cristobal, was off on Thursday. Holyoke began turning the ball over which led to Sabis fast-break points. When Holyoke did get opportunities at the basket, it seemed like they were rushing their shots and trying to exaggerate body contact to get foul calls. Sabis pulled closer in the game. They were down at halftime 25-21.
The third quarter started off rough for both teams. Sabis had 24 points with 4 minutes left in the 3rd. Holyoke was up 30-24. This is when Sabis HC Ochoa decided to put a press defense on Holyoke. That decision changed the game.
Holyoke was already short on resources coming into the game without Silva and Smith. Their bench players aren’t ready yet for the type of pressure Sabis was putting on the Purple Knights. The spotlight was on Cristobal and Rivera; they didn’t have enough on Thursday.
Sabis came into the 3rd down 4; the third finished with Sabis up 5, 36-31. They had too many fresh bodies to throw at tired Holyoke players. The Holyoke offense went completely stagnant. They scored 11 points in the 2nd half.
Sabis continued playing their press defense in the 4th quarter. The Bulldogs squeezed the last bit of life from the Purple Knights.
Bulldogs - 47; Holyoke - 36
Scorers for Sabis:
Tre Hodge - 18 points
Alex Williams - 12 points
Matt Considine - 6 points
Sidney Borges - 4 points
Rob Scoville - 3 points
London Denson & Jacob Evans - 2 points each
Jacob Mueller - 1 points
Scorers for Holyoke:
Jaimiel Rivera - 15 points
Brian Cristobal - 11 points
Chauncey Ruiz - 8 points
Adrix Madera - 2 points for
A Few Notes About Tre Hodge and His Performance on Thursday:
He is steady but plays with intensity. The Bulldogs were down for a majority of the game but you could never tell by TH’s demeanor.
He is unselfish. He looked for his teammates in the first quarter. When he realized he had to do more, he did.
His skills are great. His dribbling skills are 💯. He shook up a few Holyoke defenders. He can shoot the ball and he finds his teammates going to the basket, where they can make a play.
He is being recruited by Springfield College. Hopefully, SC makes the right decision and offers TH a full scholarship to stay in Springfield.
After the game, I spoke with Holyoke HC Juan Maldonaldo, Sabis HC Pat Ochoa and Sabis Senior Tre Hodge.
🟣Holyoke HC Juan Maldonaldo⚪️
You were ahead for a majority of the game until Sabis put on their press. What happened in the third with your press break offense?
“We watched film, we knew about their press. We knew how to break it but we didn’t execute. We started running out of gas. Credit to them, they did a nice job of turning it up and turning the ball over, so, a lot of credit to them”.
🔴Sabis HC Pat Ochoa⚪️
What about your team’s first quarter performance did you not like?
“I didn’t think our effort and focus was exactly where it needed to be. I thought we weren’t doing a lot of the things we can control. We weren’t taking care of the ball; we were making lazy and careless passes. I thought defensively, we weren’t playing our best. We weren’t keeping the ball in front of us; we weren’t containing the ball. We weren’t tough enough in that 1st quarter.
What kind of press did you use in the 3rd quarter?
“It was a full-court press. Our defense makes our offense go and that’s what happened. It wasn’t working for us on offense, the shots weren’t falling. But defensively we turned it up a notch and we were able to make our offense go by getting good stops, steals, deflections. Then, turned those into points”.
How have you felt playing this season?
“Its been great. It’s been an opportunity we didn’t know we were gonna get. We didn’t play in the winter season. When the Fall 2 season came around and we found out that we were playing, we were extremely excited. Going into it, we knew it would be different but once we get in between the lines...it feels normal again. It’s been great to be playing and be around the team”.
How did it feel to have your family in the stands to see you?
“Its great, man. I know the guys appreciate it...to be able to play in front of [all the families] is great. I know my son has been ‘dying’ to get in; he has always been around the team and unfortunately he hasn’t been around. He was really excited to come to tonight’s game”.
🔴Sabis Senior Tre Hodge⚪️
You are coming to the end of your career as a 5-year Varsity player at Sabis. Take me back to your first Varsity game. What was that like?
“First game ever?...I was definitely super nervous. It was up at the Cage. Big game. I actually started because our starting point guard was out. I was so nervous. I made a lot of mistakes. It was a good experience; a good start to a great career at Sabis”.
Fast forward to this current time. Did you think you would be able to play a season this year?
“Nah, I didn’t actually. I remember when our Board decided we weren’t gonna play in the regular winter season. We got the text from Coach and it was heart-breaking actually. Just to think, Senior season is a big year, spend it with the guys and make some good memories. Just the thought of losing that was heart-breaking. But we had the opportunity to come back in the Fall 2 season. We were able to play. So far, been able to make tons of memories with the team. Teach some of the younger guys how to play the game, you know. They are gonna come back next year and hopefully win a championship for us next year”.
Are you going to prep school or a 4-year college?
“I’m throwing all my options on the table. I’m leaning more towards prep school right now but if the opportunity presents itself where I can possibly obtain a scholarship to go college, this year, then I’m headed straight to college”.
What prep schools are you looking at?
“Wilbraham & Monson is up there. Vermont Academy is up there. St. Andrew’s. Some really good prep schools”.
Fall 2 🍁