Wayland boys basketball defeats LS for first time in five years


Credit: Courtesy of Eliya Howard-Delman

Junior Porter Moody passes the ball to freshman Xoren Livingston in mid-air. Livingston gets the pass on the three point line and shoots with no pressure from defense. After their win against LS, the team is looking forward to building on their success in the playoff season. “Playoff basketball is an intense time and I am excited for the energy that comes with it,” senior captain Gavyn Davies said.

Sammy Johnson and Julia Wegerbauer

The Wayland boys varsity basketball team faces Lincoln-Sudbury every year. The WHS team lost every single matchup for the past five years–until this season.

Wayland recorded a rough first half. Lincoln Sudbury capitalized on that opportunity and took control of the game, with Wayland down 17-25 at the end of the half. The team knew in order to pull out a win, it had to change something about the way it was playing. Wayland went into the locker room at halftime ready to come back with a win.

“We knew what we were capable of. We were playing really tense and not like ourselves, so we just all had to relax and play like the way we knew,” senior captain Jack Melvin said.

In order to come back strong in the second half, Wayland needed to come up with a strategy to turn the game around.

“[We needed to] be aggressive on defense and turn it into offense,” senior captain Gavyn Davies said.

The team has made a lot of changes this year that impacted the dynamic of the team as well as its performance on and off the court. Star players in Jabari Nurse and Jaden Brewington left for private schools, and the team brought on a lot of new players. Fortunately for Wayland, the game against Lincoln-Sudbury, which was originally scheduled for earlier in the season, was delayed due to snow. This gave the team an opportunity to play more games and build chemistry.

“We got to play them later in the season when we were more prepared,” Davies said. “Later in the season, we have our identities more solidified and know what we need to do as a team. We definitely came into the game with more confidence because we had already played hard teams.”

While being on a team creates relationships on the court, it is important for teammates to bond off the court as well. The connections that are formed can translate back to the court and elevate the game.

“I think this year has been the closest we have been off the court,” Melvin said. “We do a lot of outside activities besides basketball, which helps a lot because we can feel the connection on the court.”

For the team to be successful, everyone has to contribute during games and practices. Each player made the team for a different reason, and even if they are on the bench, their presence matters.

“Everyone is a key player,” Melvin said. “I mean, you can say the starting five and the first person off the bench [are], but really the five on the floor are just as important as the five off the floor. They give each other energy.”

The team was very excited following its win against Lincoln-Sudbury. Wayland was the underdog in the game as Wayland is a DCL Small team and LS is a DCL Large team. Wayland felt accomplished after beating LS for the first time in five years.

“We felt great,” Davies said. “It wasn’t a high-scoring game, shots weren’t falling. It wasn’t pretty, but you’ve got to play ugly to be great. People were pretty beat up, so we got a day off the next day.”

After this big win, the team is getting ready for playoffs. Playoffs are like a whole new season where past records are irrelevant and games are prepared one at a time. The team is looking forward to playing challenging teams and stepping up its level of play.

“I’m excited for the level of intimacy when playing another team and you know what a guy’s first move is going to be,” Davies said. “[I’m excited for the] energy that comes with it, [when] the crowd is loud and stakes are high.”