Six games into their first season under new head coach Fred Battle, the boys’ varsity basketball team has managed to earn a 4-2 record. Their first win came in their inaugural home game of the season Nov. 29 against the Somerset Academy Panthers. The Patriots emerged victorious after a close and scrappy game throughout, with a full house and Miami Heat stars Josh Richardson, Udonis Haslem and Dwyane Wade in attendance. Junior Zaire Wade led all scorers with 19 points and senior Masai Olowokere dropped 15 points. Junior Jackson Arnberg also added 14 points and sophomore James Williams finished with 15 rebounds and 5 points to beat the Panthers 63-57.
Though the Patriots would fall to the Pine Crest Panthers 56-51 in their next road game, the squad would bounce back Dec. 5 versus the West Park Prep Crimson Trunk Elephants. The teams remained locked throughout the first half, as the Patriots sported just a four point lead heading into the break. They would pull away in the third quarter, however, outscoring the Crimson Trunk Elephants 23-10 and jumping out to a 64-47 lead. The team was able to hold on in the fourth quarter, keeping West Park Prep in check for an 85-66 victory. The Patriots failed to retain their momentum heading into their next game Dec. 8 against the Miramar Patriots, falling 65-50. The score remained relatively close throughout the first three quarters of the game, as Heritage only found themselves down two points by the beginning of the fourth quarter. However, Miramar would close out the game in the final quarter of play, scoring 13 more points than Heritage to win by a 15 point margin.
Heritage responded to the loss in their two most recent matchups and are currently riding a two-game win streak. Their first win came Dec. 11 against Somerset Prep 56-35. After finding themselves down four at the end of the first quarter, it was all Heritage for the remainder of the game. The Patriots would outscore Somerset Prep 48-23 in the final three quarters to secure the win. Wade led with 22 points, Olowokere had 19 points, junior Andrew Volmar scored 9 points and Williams added 4 points as well as 12 rebounds. The Patriots followed up the win with another dominant victory Dec. 13 against Hollywood Christian 78-39. Volmar finished with a game-high 24 points and Wade ended with 19 points and 6 rebounds. Olowokere had 18 points and 8 rebounds and Arnberg chipped in with 10 points and 5 rebounds.
With Heritage’s next game scheduled Dec. 18, Coach Battle hopes to take advantage of the few days off his team has to work on some weak areas he feels his players could improve upon. “We need to get better defensively, rebound better, play more as a team,” Coach Battle said. “Once we do that we’ll be fine.” The Patriots are set to face the 2-5 Grace Academy International as they look to extend their win streak to three games.