Sabers Move on to Elite Eight in Playoff Blowout

By Jonathan Mayers Class of 2021

With their 71-38 victory over Community Health Academy Tuesday evening in the second round of the PSAL B division, the Uncommon Sabers move onto the Elite Eight and are now just three victories away from fulfilling their destiny to hang up a PSAL Championship banner in their home gym.

AZ Drive
Ahzariah Douglas attacks all five Community Health defenders late in the 3rd quarter Photo Credit: Mr. Berlin

Junior guard Ahzariah Douglas opened the scoring with a easy basket to get the Sabers momentum flowing, entering a different mindset for the playoffs. That momentum flowed through the entire rest of the team as junior forward Caleb Brown was able to get a points on the board off Douglas’ defensive rebound, which led to a clutch steal from lockdown defender Doran Williams and a deep three pointer from junior Quavon Daniel.

Although the Sabers started off hot, Community Health Academy began to creep on the Sabers firing back with a 3 pointer leaving the Sabers only up three at the end of the first quarter, 17-14.

In the huddle Coach Wright alerted his players that the score shouldn’t be close in this game at all and if the Sabers wanted to expand the lead they would need to crash the glass on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor.

The Sabers took note on Coach’s words and that produced results early in the 2nd Quarter. Junior DeAndre Abrams opened up the 2nd with a smooth finish in the lane, followed by continuous attempts at the free throw line for his teammate Caleb Brown, who was proficient making 4/4 free throws in the 2nd Quarter. Quavon Daniel finessed with a smooth left hand finish to end the 2nd quarter, but despite the great offensive push, Community Health only trailed by five heading into the halftime break.

Sabers needed more fuel in the locker room and Coach Dave stepped in and told that Sabers that the lead shouldn’t be this close and that the offense will flow automatically if defensive intensity picked up in the second half.

The Sabers heeded those wise words and executed the game plan perfectly. Douglas drove to the lane for an easy two points to get his teammates rolling to score countless buckets off of huge defensive stops and a total of 37 rebounds. This lead was extended with help from the Sabers bench as senior Ethan Vilmé entered the game late 4th Quarter, snagging tough rebounds, and going to the line.. In, the last seconds of the game junior guard Sajed Muhummad put the icing on the cake with a tough corner 3 to end the game.

The Sabers continue their playoff push seeking their first ever PSAL Championship as the move on to the Elite Eight to face Jane Addams High School, this Sunday March 10 at 4:00 PM here at UCHS.

How You Should Feel About Pizza

By Josh Joseph-H Class of 2019

F

Little Caesars is the every-man’s pizza and it’s only this low on the list because it is affordable and average.

pizza hut

When you think pizza, Pizza Hut is the last thing on your mind. It’s dead last on the list for a reason. It is not good. The pizza is either covered in an inhumane amount of grease or is just disgustingly under-cooked. It’s a product that’s assembled and delivered with no care from both the employees and the company itself. It’s not even a pizza, it’s a last resort.

C

This is only here to make fun of Pizza Hut.

chuckecheese

B

dominos

Domino’s is no doubt a good delivery pizza, but it’s still not the best due to the varying levels of quality at any given Domino’s.

sbarro

Sbarro is a decent pizza, but again it lacks that special distinction to make the pizza worth consistently getting.

A  

Papa Johns is undoubtedly the best delivery pizza. The quality at which it reaches your door is so high they could send the wrong pizza and I’d be fine with it.

papa johns

Cicis is just standard pizza but at a buffet so the quantity increases it’s placement on the list.

cicis pizza

A+

Any non fast food or delivery Pizza is better than what your get delivered to your door 85% of the time.

NYC Pizza

 

When the White Boy Went to the Quiceñera Part 1

Short story by Bianca Arce Class of 2020

“If you stop fidgeting, the gel might hold”

“I’m not fidgeting”

Mentiras, I’ve been handling this stray of hair for the past five minutes, why are you so nervous? It’s a quiceñera.”

“Yeah, a quiceñera with your parents, I’m pretty sure our relationship is forbidden.”

“Yeah to your parents, I’m the immigrant that lured their son into my mexican traps.” I chuckled as her arms wrapped around my shoulders. “My parents love you, probably more than they love their own son. They only met you for a split second at homecoming and they were already talking to me about grandkids.”

“And it’s going to be the same way with my family. Just because you’re a blanquito doesn’t mean they’ll hate you. They might be a little hard headed at first, but soon they’ll love you like I do. There, i’m done.” She spun my chair to reveal my flamboyant hairdo. My dark blond hair was encrusted in a heavy layer of gel, emulating the style of 1950’s greaser.

“I look like Elvis.” i shook my head to see none of my hair strands moving.

“Elvis wore grease in his hair, this is long wear gel.” She scrubbed her hands of the stuff and walked over to my tuxedo. “Oh my God, is this Armani?” her face was astounded.

“Yeah, it was my dad’s I wanted to look nice for your cousin’s party. What?” The suit was an elegant navy color, with padding in the shoulders to masquerade my wimpy physique when I’d stand next to Ely’s cousins.

“This suit smells like money Alex. It shows off the fact that you have more money than everyone there. You can keep the pants and the jacket, but the shirt and vest have to go.”

“Its an old suit, it doesn’t smell like money, it smells like lint.”

Cambia tu ropa I’ll be doing my hair at my parents house, meet me there in an hour, ok?” she leaned in and kissed me on the cheek, “See you soon blanquito.”

**********

The Sabers continue their quest for #1 seed, defeat Molloy 63-56

By Jonathan Mayers Class of 2021 Boys Basketball Beat Writer

Coming off a rivalry victory against AF Brooklyn High School, the Sabers (16-1) continued to build their postseason resume at the Big North Shootout Invitational defeating Archbishop Molloy High School, a widely renowned AA Catholic team from Queens by the score of 63-56.  Going into this matchup there had been major speculation about whether a charter school could conquer the challenge of facing AA catholic team. With this win, the Sabers climb to the #7 ranked school in PSAL B Division, led by their #50 state-ranked junior forward Ahzariah Douglas.

The Sabers started the first quarter shaky, allowing Molloy to put up 20 points.  But, only down by 4 after the 1st quarter, the Sabers turned on the gasin the second led by Douglas and strong defense, along with the advocacy of the Sabers’ bench. The bench loudly yelled out the tactical defensive strategy to freeze the Molloy Stanners offense and preventing them from entering the paint defended b powerhouse senior center Joel Carty who pulled down 18 of the teams total 47 rebounds. Junior guard Deandre Abrams, added clutch buzzer beater to send the Sabers only down 8 by halftime.

Despite the 8-point deficit, Sabers came with a storm out of the locker room. The Sabers cowed the Molloy Stanners causing them to call several timeouts in the 3rd quarter, junior Doran Williams’ steal, basket and free throw lead to Douglas’ deep corner three, which fueled junior forward Caleb Brown’s ability to attack the paint with ease and make money free throws to quickly put the Molloy Stanners away. Now, down 48-45 the Sabers’ stopwatch rang out and, they knew it was time to put the widely renowned AA team to sleep.

Defense showed out in final quarter of this battle, The class of ‘20 dynamic duo had a pair of essential block to the Sabers defensive successes. Which sparked the great offensive ball movement, lead by Ahzariah Douglas with the classic Saber ‘4 out’ isolation where Douglas shred the Molloy Stanners guards to pieces scoring six points in the late fourth quarter, impressing various scouts in the audience

The Sabers, transition back to their PSAL domination as they face Spring Creek HS at home next Tuesday January 29th, 2019.

Thank You to Big North Shootout Hoops, for allowing our Sabers to showcase their skills and talents!

The Tragic Death of Jazmine Barnes

By Sierra Smith Class of 2020

On December 30th, 2018 seven-year-old Jazmine Barnes was killed by Eric Black Jr. and Larry Woodruffe after being struck by a bullet in a drive-by shooting. Whilst leaving a Walmart parking lot with her family Laporsha Washington (her mother) recalls a red pickup truck pulling up beside her vehicle and seeing” shattered glass and bullets coming towards [her] car.” Ultimately, after their arrest, Eric Black Jr. and Larry Woodruff are set to be tried for capital murder.

At first, Jazmine’s case sparked the attention of the black community because witnesses described the shooter as a thin white man in his 30s and 40s as shown in a police sketch.                                                                     

Figure 1: The police sketch made using the description La’porsha Washington and her daughters gave, alongside the mugshot of Larry Woodruffe
Figure 2: Mugshot of Eric Black Jr. the first suspect arrested after confessing to his crimes

People speculated that the shooting could potentially be racially motivated, yet after confessing to his crimes Eric Black Jr. was arrested along with Larry Woodruffe later on. This was a great shock to me because despite the fact that Laporsha stated that the man she saw in the truck was white , which also corroborated with one of her daughter’s statements, the men arrested were African American. The contradiction in statements and arrest has caused me and many others to distrust the reliability of the police force’s arrest.

Regardless of speculations, this tragedy was a prime example of how gun violence can tear apart families and bring great sorrow to communities across the country. Jazmine never got the chance to enjoy her youth fully because it was wrongfully taken away at the hands of violence. My condolences go out to Jazmine’s  sisters who were present in the car who will now and forever remember the brutal death of their younger sister, Ms. Washington, in having to face the harsh reality that her daughter was taken away in a matter of seconds, and Jazmine’s family who has to plan and execute a funeral for their little girl at the tender age of seven.

Ultimately, the result of gun violence not only affects the victim, but the lives of their loved ones thereafter. Violence (specifically in the black community) is making our communities hazardous especially for children who will grow up worrying about the safety of their own neighborhoods.

                                            Rest In Paradise Jazmine Barnes

Brown delivers with ‘Ice in his veins’

Sabers defeat Panthers for second time this season

By Jonathan Mayers class of 2021

Last night, the UCHS Sabers hosted part two of the inter-building rivalry between UCHS and the Achievement First Panthers. Led by five clutch free throws in the 4th quarter by junior forward Caleb Brown, the Sabers (9-1) were able to defeat the Panthers once again by the score of 40-36 to let them know ‘this is our house.’

Captain Caleb Brown drains the game clinching free throws
Photo Credit: Kemani Hamilton Class of 2021

Early in the first quarter, the offense laid a foundation for the Sabers’ success as they cruised to an 8-0 run, sparked by a pair of knockdown threes from junior guard Quavon Daniel, who was returning to game action after being sidelined with an ankle injury for the past month.

Defense was the key to the Sabers’ success In the second quarter as Brown, Daniel, and junior Doran Williams, all played aggressively.  Brown led the way with a chase down block, while Daniel and Williams both had key steals forcing turnovers. Additionally, senior Joel Carty added to the team’s defensive battle by seizing tough rebounds on the defensive side of the floor to stop the Panthers from scoring second chance points.

Saber ATTITUDE on display in the second half
Photo Credit: Kemani Hamilton Class of 2021

In the second half, tempers sparked as both teams had disputes over a jump ball, but as the clamorous Panther bench stormed the court, the Sabers’ trademark “ATTITUDE” kept their mind calm, composed, and strictly focused on winning the game.

With five minutes left in the 3rd Quarter, the Panthers had the Sabers’ number, as AF senior guard Shawn Cabral hit a tough jumper to put the Panthers down only six points (26-20).

However, entering the last quarter of the game, the Sabers marked their territory at 1485 Pacific Street, as they didn’t let the Panthers have their number for long. Junior forward Ahzariah Douglas continued to attack the rim scoring a pair of buckets in the final quarter.  Douglas scored four of his 15 points in the game in the 4th quarter, and showed his clutch gene putting the Sabers up three with 1:26 left in the game. As the Panthers attempted to make a heroic comeback in the 4th quarter, Saber team captain Caleb Brown put the finishing touches on the close win with five ‘ice in his veins’ free throws handing the Panthers their second loss of the season with a 40-36 win.

The Sabers are in the midst of a three game homestand as they face Chelsea High School Saturday at 2 PM, The School for Classics next Monday December 14th @ 4:30 PM.  Come out and support the Sabers as they seek a number one seed in the PSAL Tournament.

Celebrate the Debate!

By: Ivan Perez Class of 2019 and Sierra Smith Class of 2020
Edited by: Shyonne Fraser Class of 2019

The Uncommon Charter High School Speech and Debate Team made tremendous strides at their most recent competition; taking third, fourth, fifth, and sixth in the Declamation portion of the competition and third place in Oral Interpretation. Even more exciting, several Sabers qualified for the state competition. For several hours on the fifth floor of Achievement First Brooklyn High School the Sabers chopped it down debating a wide variety of different topics decided by the National Speech & Debate Organization.

Sumaje Houghton, Mikala Davis, Michaela Morrison, and Shemar Blake

The Speech and Debate Team is in its second year of existence led by Ms. Nina Mauceri. “The largest improvement I’ve seen, and the most exciting part, is that team members have learned to coach each other,” said Ms. Mauceri. Speech and Debate has expanded from last year’s six members to now having almost forty members. With this increase in members the team has gained many opportunities in local and state competitions.

Deanna Nedd shows off her third place finish

The first event, Declamation, consists of reciting a memorized speech in a new and exciting way. Deanna Nedd came in third place in the Declamation and qualified for states. Up next, was the Oral Interpretation where the squad had to orally interpret a previously published piece of literature in a theatrical manner.  Sophomore Michaela Morrison placed third and is now half qualified for states. To add on, fellow class of 2021 members Shemar Blake placed fourth, Mikala Davis placed fifth, and Sumaje Houghton placed sixth.

Sumaje Houghton, class of 2021, earned an astounding 6th place at her recent competition with the Uncommon Speech Team.  The debate team prepared for the competition by putting together ten minute long stories and poems. Sumaje practiced reading her passage at home and in her free time to guarantee that she had a smooth delivery. With the help of the rest of the Speech Team and Ms. Kitchens’ words of wisdom, “Picture whatever is making you nervous and punch it in the face!” she received feedback on her speech from her strong support system and place well in her first speech and debate competition.

When asked how she how she felt receiving an excellent score in her first competition Sumaje added she was, “hyped and ultimately shocked” by her success. She drew inspiration from the messages expressed in the timeless passage she performed and felt as if it brought awareness to issues, “in this generation.” Ms. Houghton wants to make her footprint on the world, even if it starts with a speech and debate competition.