Varsity Boys Basketball Gets To Work Over Winter Break

Heading into winter break with a record of 3-4, The Masters School's varsity boys basketball team broke out the hardhats and got to work. 

"We needed the time over the break to refine and bond our team together," head coach Joey Kuhl said. "The hard work that goes into double sessions is so critical to building the trust and respect within the team that is required to win. There is a joy as we study film, practice hard, shoot extra, lift weights, stretch constantly and attempt to do difficult things. So we have to keep leaning into the hard work and focusing on the day in front of us."

Rest assured, all that hard work paid immediate dividends. 

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The Panthers (5-4) kicked off 2024 in style, recording a pair of victories at home over Horace Mann, 69-45, on January 4, and St. Luke's, 62-47, on January 6. It marked their first win over St. Luke's since the 2014-15 season. 

Adam Bello ’24 and Omari Levy ’26 continued to pace Masters on the offensive end, with each averaging 17.7 points per game thus far this season. Nathan Lothian anchored the Panthers' defense, which clamped down impressively over the two-game stretch. 

"Nate Lothian has been huge in our defensive game plan and provided toughness to the group," Kuhl said. "He was +30 in his minutes against St. Luke's, which was far and away the highest."

Kuhl, who was pleased with his team's overall performance on both ends of the court, also highlighted the stellar play of Samson Mines ’25, Azzan Thomas ’25, Shawn Pichardo ’24, Jonathan Mafuru ’25, Jake Raab ’26 and Luke Puthiyamadam ’25. 

Puthiyamadam recently returned from a knee injury to give the squad an additional boost. 

"(Puthiyamadam) had a great performance in his first varsity game," Kuhl said. "He hit a couple of jump shots after spending all break working on it. Luke has been working so hard to get healthy, so it was nice to see the work pay off."

Masters will hit the road to square off against New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) power New York Military Academy in its next game on Wednesday, January 10 at 5:00 p.m. The Panthers will then return home to face Fairchester Athletic Association foe Greens Farms Academy on Friday, January 12, at the Fonseca Center at 5:00 p.m. 

Kuhl, now in his second year with the program, noted that the team's ability to succeed is dependent on the entire Masters community — from the alumni to the teachers, staff, administrators and coaches. 

"The success is a result of so many aspects of our campus working together," Kuhl said. "It is a genuine and true pleasure to work at an institution that values the work the young men and women of our athletic teams put in. It is so vital to developing the character and mental fortitude to succeed in their future endeavors beyond high school and the court."

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