by Luke Morissette and Alex Slusher
As the final buzzer sounded in the Salem Academy auxiliary gym, the OES squad rejoiced.
Despite the predawn wakeup, hour-long bus ride, and a seemingly bleak record which had only just improved to 3-7, the Aardvarks could not hide their joy after beating rival Catlin Gabel. The game came down to the wire, decided on a deep three-pointer launched by Captain David Lewis ‘19. The shot came with just four seconds remaining to give OES a one-point lead; seconds later, after a defensive stand, the game was sealed.
Playing a crucial role throughout the game, there was no one happier than 6’4 center Seamus O’Hollaren ‘21 about the big win. O’Hollaren’s intensity on both ends of the floor set the tone for the undersized team. Although he fouled out at the end of the fourth quarter, Seamus had double-digit rebounds and a clutch late-game basket. O’Hollarens’ contributions came as a surprise to many in the gym early on Saturday morning. Just days after being moved to the varsity team, O’Hollaren found himself in a starting role due to injuries to centers Milo Kashey (wisdom teeth) & Ryan Brown (sinus infection).
Undaunted by the task, Seamus played physically throughout the tournament. The game against Catlin Gabel could have had a very different turnout without Seamus’ efforts. O’Hollaren reflected on his first few varsity games, noting that “the physicality stepped up a notch from JV to Varsity. Though my first moments were nerve-wracking, once I got into the flow of the game it was very fun and rewarding. I am excited to finish the season on a high note.”
Hopefully, Seamus can bolster OES to some important wins in the coming weeks. After a tough out-of-conference schedule which included games against many of the top 3A & 2A teams in the state the Aardvarks look to bounce back in league play.
Catch both the OES boys and girls squads playing at the OES gym Saturday night: the boys tip off at 4:00 and the girls 5:30.