Basketball Champions

Swish! Boys Varsity Basketball Team Wins NYSAIS Championship Two Years Running

March 3, 2015

The game was dramatic. The stakes were high. The outcome victorious. As Director of Athletics Jason Coy called it for us, “Down 13-5 after the first quarter of the NYSAIS Division B finals against Collegiate, Dwight came out in the second as the aggressor and the team fought its way back into the game with great defense and a steady offense. At halftime, the score was Dwight 24-Collegiate 21.” This was where things stood mid-afternoon on March 1, when the Dwight Lions were defending their league crown against the number-two team in the league.

Now back in the game, our Varsity Boys Basketball team started the second half, as Mr. Coy continues, “with defensive pressure from senior Rodrigue Marthone, Jr. and eighth-grader Dajuan Piper, their opponents were never allowed to find a rhythm. The fast pace led to a few run outs and easy buckets. Jeremy Bonifacio ’15 protected the rim, while Felipe D’Andrea ’16 and Marcus Klotz ’15 each grabbed a few offense rebounds to keep the possession with our ‘Boys in Blue.’ The final four minutes hovered around a one possession game until Rodrigo D’Andrea ’16 drove the baseline and finished to push the lead up to five. After Collegiate scored four unanswered points, they were forced to foul Rodrigue for a one and one inside the final 30 seconds. Rodrigue tickled the nylon twice to set up a dramatic last possession and a desperate three-point attempt by Collegiate to go for the tie. Their shot fell short and Dwight was fouled. Two free throws later, the buzzer sounded…Dwight 49-Collegiate 44. Back-to-back State champs!” AMAZING!

Dwight entered the finals, following a showing at the semi-finals two days earlier that was nothing short of a “Cinderella story.” After losing three times this year to the number-one team in the league, Léman Manhattan Preparatory School, fourth-ranked Dwight showed grit and determination to defeat this juggernaut opponent 59-48, representing the best of Dwight.

Coach Dave Brown ’97, who also led the team to victory in the NYSAIS championships last year, reports, “The team triumphed over Léman because the players believed in one another and performed beautifully. It was a special game and they played with more heart than I have ever seen in my 16 years of high school and college coaching.”

One Goliath (Léman) down. One more (Collegiate) to win a second-straight league championships. Coach Brown takes the story home, “The players’ commitment to defense prevented Collegiate from advancing. Any time a team plays against a team such as theirs, rank among the most prepared in the City, you have to be better prepared to win. And to win after a slow start, you have to play the best basketball possible for the last two and a half quarters. Our team did just that.”

Now that’s what we call March Madness! Congratulations to everyone!

Dwight’s 2015 NYSAIS-winning Boys Varsity Basketball team takes its place in a long and proud tradition of basketball excellence, beginning with former Headmaster Dr. M.C. Spahn. He was an All-American at CCNY and then a professional in the American Basketball League in the 1930s before retiring from the game. His son, Chancellor Stephen Spahn, was an All-American at Dartmouth College, where he established several scoring records. His commitment to nurturing scholar-athletes and vision paved the way for our new Dwight School Athletic Center, which has been home court to our proud Dwight Lions for the last two years. Check it out here!