Robert F. Hall senior basketball program developing well

January 2, 2020   ·   0 Comments


Interest in running a senior basketball team was restored two years ago at Robert F. Hall. This program has seen its ups and downs and the hopes of a future senior team, was bogged down by a lack of belief and a system set up to fail. 

Head Coach of the senior basketball team Brian Bontigao and head coach of the junior team Robert Warrien, have an objective. The bumps in the road en route to building a promising basketball program won’t be easy. Bontigao came into this program five years ago with an avid interested in basketball while teaching physical education. 

“At first, I was an assistant coach and then the program shutdown for two years, due to a lack of interest,” Bontigao explained. 

“And just two years ago, we started up again,” he added.

The junior basketball team has remained intact since around the time the school was opened. The problem, was the players losing their confidence the moment their senior years rolled around. Losing became normal and there was no credence in thinking this team could ever come back and be competitive. 

Bontigao and Warrien are emphasizing a new structure; a new promise. Their crafts and passion of this sport motivates the students to be a part of it, guiding these athletes in a direction that supercedes previous years. 

Although not every athlete plays basketball outside of school, the willingness to play has arrived. 

The Robert F. Hall Wolfpack senior team trounced the Sandalwood Heights Sabres 64-40 before the holidays. 

In the first quarter, ball movement and spacing set the tone. A quick three to spark some momentum for the Wolfpack by Quinton McQuaig began a 10 to 2 run. The Sabres tried to shift momentum back to their side of the court, but that was disrupted by some lock down defence. Most notably, Kyle Douse denying Gopal Kong in the low post. 

In the second quarter the Wolfpack went stagnant. For the first 1:33 the team did not record a single point. Perimeter defence struggled and foul trouble gave the Sabres free opportunities at points. Sabres’ Mozzi Mosmer attacked the rim continuously heading to the line. 

On the stroke of halftime, the three-point connoisseur Milo Yekmalyon banked one in from the corner and eventually the lead was cut down to one by the end of the half, with the Sabres leading 29-28. 

In the second half it was all the Wolfpack. The boys handled the rock carefully, limited foul calls against themselves and ultimately dominated the game. 

McQuaig took over the third quarter with his three point shooting and earning trips to the foul line. 

Yekmalyon hit two more threes in the fourth quarter and Stefon Manikavasagar tallied five points of his own to put this game out of reach. 

After the game, Yekmalyon described his improvements he worked on in this game than the past few. 

“Definitely in the past couple of games my shooting hasn’t been there. Obviously, you saw this game. I came out and shot very well,” he explained. 

He added, “Even on the inside I think I played pretty good, the defence was there a little bit tonight so, I think that was a good improvement.” 

Coach Bontigao was happy with the performance from the Wolfpack. The team struggled a bit to begin the season. Last game, the boys lost 79-47 against Louise Arbour Secondary School. 

If this game is evidence of what’s to come, it looks like things could be turning around. Bontigao explained what he has been working on in practice. 

Bontigao said, “We try to look at all possible scenarios. So, different types of defences that can be presented in front of us, could be man to man, it could be a press, it could be a zone.” 

He added, “We try to go through the scenarios and try to practice our plays based on that. I think it’s really important that every player, one through 12, understands the game.” 

Bontigao is trying to register the Wolfpack in a tournament in January. No games are scheduled due to exams. 

The next regular season game is on the road against Brathwaite on February 4th, 2020. 



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