The Georgetown Day-Sidwell rivalry games are some of the most electric and vibrant games that players on either side participate in over their high school careers. These games always usher in a GDS fan section that is rowdy and excited to watch their classmates compete under the bright lights. This GDS senior class has never beaten Sidwell, posting an 0-6 regular season record against the Quakers since the 2015-2016 season. In recent years, Sidwell has had an impressive basketball program, with a 13-3 record as of Friday.
Many GDS students thought that this team would be the one to take Sidwell down, but Sidwell’s experience and four senior starters propelled them to a quick start out of the gate. GDS (5-11, 0-4 MAC), carried a three-game losing streak and was looking to change the tides on their season. GDS’s first rotation began picking up numerous fouls early, leading Sidwell to convert all of 13 free throws in the first quarter alone. Leading the charge for Sidwell was senior guard Jason Gibson, who scored 10 points in the first period.
The Hoppers offense held with Sidwell, finishing the quarter on an 8-2 run through the scoring abilities of Jayden Rainey, Jordan Rayford, and Montez McNeil. The second quarter was very much the opposite. The GDS offense went ice cold and turnovers allowed Sidwell more easy transition baskets. Sidwell’s size inside, provided by Stanford football commit Walter Rouse, also proved an advantage as they played staunch inside defense and collected numerous offensive rebounds. Although the Hoppers have improved athleticism and size from previous years, these improvements proved to be a minimal factor in what already looked like a tough game.
The Hoppers faced a 19 point deficit at halftime. Many in the crowd were hoping the team, led by freshman Rainey up to this point, could turn it around and finish strong. Meanwhile, Sidwell’s crowd carried on their momentum well into the second half, and Sidwell’s 17-0 run and GDS’s scoring drought was not snapped until nearly three minutes into the third quarter. Defense improved throughout the third quarter as GDS forced more turnovers, but Gibson was able to control the game when he was on the floor. He finished with a game-high 25 points, including four made 3-point field goals.
It seemed like McNeil, Rainey, and Rayford were beginning to lead a miracle comeback, starting the final quarter on a fast-paced, physical 13-3 run. A deep three by Rainey quieted the Sidwell crowd, but not for long. The Quakers’ unrelenting three-point attack continued to the end of the game. With under three minutes to go, many of each team’s starters exited the game, and GDS’s seniors entered their last ever GDS-Sidwell game in front of the home crowd. McNeil, who finished with 12 points, was visibly frustrated as he took a seat on the bench. The new rotation played hard, but Sidwell ran down the clock and left the Hoppers with a disappointing 71-47 defeat.
A significant discrepancy between the two teams was the ability to draw fouls and convert from the line. The Hoppers shot 11-16 from the line while the Quakers put up 29 foul shots and converted on 24. The GDS fan section expressed dissatisfaction with the officials due to their many foul calls against the Hoppers. In addition, Sidwell’s seven three-pointers (compared to GDS’s two), four of which came in the fourth quarter, were demoralizing to a team trying to get back in the game late.
The two teams will square off again on February 12 at Sidwell.
By: Micah Hurewitz ’20