The 2018-2019 UCHS Boys Basketball team opened their season in impressive fashion Tuesday afternoon defeating Achievement First Brooklyn 63-59 in the battle for 1485 Pacific Street.
The Sabers, playing as the visitors in the 4th floor gymnasium, overcame a halftime deficit behind the clutch play of junior guard Ahzariah Douglas. Douglas led the Sabers with 24 points, including a thundering tomahawk dunk following one of the many turnovers forced by the tenacious Saber defense implemented by first year head coach Andrew Wright. Although he battled foul trouble for most of the second half, Douglas never stopped attacking the rim and forced the much larger AF frontcourt to foul him. Ever calm under pressure, Douglas drained 9-10 free throws to lead the Sabers, who shot 19 of 23 from the line overall.
Junior forward, and team captain, Caleb Brown added 12 points including a number of pretty euro-step buckets in the second half to keep the Sabers in it. His largest contribution, however, took place on the defensive end. With AF threatening to pull away late in the 4th quarter, Brown stepped into an AF drive and drew a charge, giving the Sabers possession of the ball and earning a deafening ovation from the rabid Saber fan section led by Coach Sasso and the cheerleading squad.
The dynamic duo of Douglas and Brown was helped out defensively by junior guard Quavon Daniel and senior center Joel Carty. Daniel provided relentless on-ball pressure forcing turnovers for easy baskets on the offensive end while Carty shed his trademark “gentle giant” persona by blocking and altering numerous AF shots down the stretch in the 4th quarter.
The Sabers will look to improve to 2-0 on the season Thursday afternoon when they visit The School for the Classics, and have their first home game Monday December 3rd playing host to Teachers Prep High School at 4:30 PM.