Moving Up

varsity basketball will face bigger schools next year

By Max Rodriguez, Reporter

Ever since Stuart Hall was founded, the main sport has been basketball. The school has always been in Division V, and over the past couple of years, the team has risen to success. Last year, Tyler Ryan ‘15 and Armani Collins ‘15 led the Knights to win the NCS championship. This year, Zeke Crawford ‘16 and Axavier Byrd ‘16 rallied the team to not only the NCS championship, but also one win away from going to the CIF state championship game. This success has allowed this promising team to move to Division IV. Each year, the team seems to keep getting further in the state playoffs, with this year being the furthest the school has ever gone.

Division IV is a big difference from Division V. The Knights will still be in the BCL West and will continue to play against league rivals such as University and Lick-Wilmerding. But moving up to Division IV can have lots of positive and negative outcomes. The Knights will be playing newer and better teams, including familiar faces like Lick-Wilmerding, who gave the Knights some trouble last year. According to Coach J,“Division IV will definitely be tougher. The best teams in Division IV are now in Division III, which should help with our chances in the tournament. It will also be fun facing new teams instead of the same old familiar ones.” This move up to Division IV will be a tough challenge and it doesn’t help the Knights who are losing 3 starters. Hopefully, the Knights will be able to pull through and win the third NCS title in a row.

The Knights will need a lot of support next year as they play bigger schools. Next year’s team will be led by Darná Stewart ‘17 who averaged 11.3 points per game as a junior. Darná has been on the team since his sophomore year and has been part of the two NCS championships. The team will also have players with experience in the NCS tournament like Jaden Newman ‘17, Jeremiah Sullivan ‘17, Owen Hackel ‘17, and Sean Ingoglia ‘18. Their experience should help the team.

Some teams in the new division will be Marin Catholic, Salesian, Gateway, and Piedmont. The Knights had close games against some of them last year in scrimmages. They beat Piedmont 76-67 but lost to Salesian 75-48. This just shows how high the competition is in Division IV and why the Knights deserve to be there.

The Knights will be going into the tournament in 2017 as underdogs and are looking to shock the other teams when they win back to back to back NCS championships.