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Noelsaint rallies squad, MHS Students top Faculty in annual basketball battle in OT, 54-52

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Students break four-game winning streak with the victory


By Ryan Coggswell

Malden High Blue and Gold


The Student-Faculty Basketball Game has been a staple at Malden High School for over many years and is now a fundraiser for the MHS Tornado Travelers Club. Tornado Travelers Advisor Shauna Campbell noted that the game has been played “as long as I’ve been here.” The club is dedicated to raising money to help students to travel the world, with the last trip being this past February to Costa Rica.

The bleachers were packed with students once again, showing how important the game was to the school. “I think it’s entertaining to have teachers play an athletic sport or activity with students,” Campbell said. “Then you have other students wanting to watch the game, and it all comes together to build camaraderie and school spirit!”

Unlike last year, this game started off very slowly. The teachers split up their squad into four different lineups, rotating them throughout the first half.

Near the end of the 20-minute first half, the students started to pick up the pace. They still underperformed offensively and managed just a 23-9 lead at halftime, giving the younger side a 14-point lead with a half to go. The students, consisting of both boy and girl players, were coached by MHS Varsity Girls Basketball Coach Scott Marino.

The faculty found new life with a different approach. MHS Principal Chris Mastrangelo, serving as the staff head coach for the game, sent his best players out to close the gap. Their combined force proved dominant, and it was not long before the faculty – after a 23-9 run to start the second half – tied the game at 32.

While stars of the past like Salemwood School phys ed teacher Wiston Jeune and MHS phys-ed teacher Jonathan Currier contributed to the comeback, the team’s leading scorer wound up being Salemwood School phys ed teacher Rebecca Krigman with 14 points. “I shot the ball well,” Krigman, a former multi-sport Malden High star and Golden Tornado Hall of Famer said. “We had to rely on our teammates, and everyone played a fair game.”

With under two minutes left to play, the teachers had a 48-41 advantage. Then, senior and boys’ basketball and baseball captain Ezechiel “Zeke” Noelsaint flipped the script. He hit a three-pointer to cut the gap to four, 48-44, and then Yandel Huynh took it to the rim for a layup and-1, which he converted. Within seconds, the lead was just a single point, 48-47.

Although the teachers scored again, they were not slowing down “Zeke the Freak,” who nailed another three-pointer right in the defender’s face to tie the game at 50-50. After a failed faculty possession, he came back down the court and nailed a long two-point shot, holding his finish. The students had regained the lead at 52-50.

MHS Football Coach and recently appointed Malden High Dean of Students Witche Exilhomme used his physicality to draw two fouls in the last minute and made two of the four free throws. This left the score tied at 52-52 with under 10 seconds to go. The students gave it to their hot hand but Noelsaint was triple covered on his buzzer-beater attempt, disrupting his shot and forcing overtime.

The overtime period was just a minute long, requiring the players to make a quick play to win the game. With 18 seconds remaining, the students inbounded from the baseline. They eventually found Noelsaint in the paint, who missed two layups but used his top-notch vertical to pull down the rebound each time. On his third attempt, he found the basket to take a 54-52 lead with four seconds left on the clock. A last-ditch, long-range shot fell short and the buzzer sounded as the students had held on for the win.

With that, the students had finally overcome the faculty for the first time since before the pandemic by a score of 54-52. “I don’t like to lose,” Noelsaint said. “That’s it.”

His poise in the deciding moments of the game was excellent, as there was no hesitation regarding any of those clutch shots. “The chemistry was there; we played with the girls a lot in practice. That helped us win it in the end,” he continued.

Krigman was still optimistic after the loss, noting, “We try to execute, but sometimes we miss a shot. We still tried our best.”

Krigman’s 14 points led the teachers, followed by Jeune and math teacher Bradley Gelling with seven each. Jeune also tallied three assists in the loss. Noelsaint led the students’ scoring with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

As for next year, the students will have to battle without players like Noelsaint, Savion Silva-Clark and Victoria Gammon while the staff retains their lineup. It will take a younger player to step up for the student side if they wish to repeat this year’s victory.

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