The boys varsity basketball team this year is off to a historic start. They opened with a win over Penn Charter, 59-39, a game in which senior twins Jamil and Jalil Pines-Elliot played some of their signature lockdown defense, stymieing the Quaker guards.
This game marked the first time since 1989 that the Germantown Friends has defeated their neighborhood rivals. That’s right: the year Taylor Swift was born was the last time GFS had beaten Penn Charter.
They continued their success with two more wins in the Germantown Community Tournament. They breezed through a game with Bodine to move on to the championship the next day against a very tough opponent: Cardinal O’Hara. Lead by Tip Swartz, the Lions had easily bested Indian Creek High school the day before, 67-37. But the Tigers were not intimidated. Sophomore Michael Buckmire played lockdown defense on Swartz, Seniors Andrew Aldridge and Ray Leon had 18 and 19 points, respectively, and the Tigers won yet again, 58-39.
Their success continued against Mercy Vocational and Collegium Charter, pulling out two scrappy wins, 60-34 and 64-49. Then came the next big test, away against Abington Friends. The game had very serious playoff implications even though it was in December. The Tigers were not deterred by the pressure. After the first quarter, the game looked like it would be a thriller. However, in the second quarter, the Tigers snatched the lead and never looked back, ultimately winning 52-36. The game was not a total victory, as freshman Pietro Berghella broke two bones in his forearm and will be out for about eight weeks.