Cavaliers vs. Gladiators: Dribbling Their Way to the Top


Brianna Babani

After a tight match, the Cavaliers outscored the Hialeah Gladiators, 56-51.

As basketball season rolls around, Cavaliers await one of the most memorable parts of high school: cheering as a fan or dribbling on the court. For the first home basketball game of the season, fans shuffled into the gymnasium at 7:30 p.m., preparing for the boys varsity match against the Hialeah Gardens Gladiators. Entering confidently, the boys put up a tough fight, leading them to victory 56-51.

The sound of the buzzer went off and time officially counted down. Right from the start, the pressure was felt throughout the stands. With a lead from the Gladiators, the score was not looking so bright for the Cavaliers. By the end of the first quarter, varsity boys kept pushing, despite a scoreboard that read 13-15. Fans watched closely, confident that Gables would pull off a comeback win.

“We just remind ourselves that we’re ready for situations like these, that our hard work is for those tight game moments, and we can’t just let all that hard work go to waste,” senior Lorenzo Orellana said.

“You’re going to Miss it. Miss it, Miss it,” the cheerleaders shouted at each of our opponents’ free throw. The game was looking tighter with every foul call. The Cavaliers found themselves shooting 23 free throws and outnumbering the Gladiators’ 14 extra point attempts, calling for a heavily officiated game.

Reaching half-time, the Gladiators stayed in front by a mere two points, making the score 27-29. Through the short intermission, cheerleaders soared and chanted, “Let’s go red. Let’s go white, red, white,” announcing our school colors. Amping up the crowd, students desperately waited for the excitement to resume. Taking those couple of minutes to strategize and game plan, varsity athletes prepared for another chance at winning.

“I’m new on the cheerleading team, so I haven’t had that many opportunities to perform quite yet. As a flyer, it felt like I could see everyone in the crowd. Cheering for that big of an audience was kind of crazy, especially when they reciprocated our energy throughout the game,” sophomore Halye Perez said.

Throughout the second half, varsity boys excelled in ball movement and passing it to any open players.  Making themselves difficult to defend, the Cavaliers accumulated over 13 points in the third quarter which posted a 40 to 40 tie entering into the final period of the game.

“Our biggest strength is that we are a team. We don’t have any selfish players which makes us hard to guard and a good defensive team. Where teams might go one on-five on offense, all of our guys celebrate each other’s success,” Coach Shoon said.

As the buzzer rang, the Gladiators were quick to score. Senior Jayden Horne, however, lifted the Cavaliers with a three-point shot from the top of the key. As time was running out, the student section cheered louder, becoming a distraction for the opposing team.

Coming off three consecutive turnovers, the Gladiators were quickly outplayed, despite their lead throughout the game. Stealing the ball one last time, senior Jose Suarez then scored the layup in transition, ensuring the Cavaliers’ triumph.

Left with seven seconds on the clock and a lead of five points, the Cavaliers were confident that their rivals could not put much of a fight anymore. As the time fell short and the buzzer rang for the last time, leaving the score at 56-51. Fans stormed the courts, cheering and congratulating their school athletes.

Learning from their close game, the Cavalier boys will continue to demonstrate hard work  in order to continue their path of success. As for their next match, the boys’ varsity team will play again on Dec. 8 at Mater Academy against the Lions. For tickets, click here.

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  • Making the first point of the game, senior Gabriel Chang, co-captain of the boys basketball team, puts in his hard work, accumulating over 20 points throughout the night.

  • Marking halftime, girls lead the student section through chants in hopes of motivating the Cavaliers.

  • Varsity boys watch from the sidelines as their fellow athletes try to level out the score.

  • Senior Jose Suazo jumps high, shooting the ball in through the hoop past the Gladiators.

  • Fans and cheerleaders alike shout in excitement over the success of their student athlete.