Basketball Team Ignites the Crowd at Hawk Fest

By Matthew Malley ’20; Photo by Nathan Stefanon ’20, #XBCorps

On Friday, January 11, Xaverian Brothers High School hosted its annual Hawk Fest, a gathering for both current students and prospective families.

The event featured a party in the cafeteria with games like cornhole, oversized Jenga, and ping pong, plus seemingless endless servings of pizza, all before the crowd was led into the Varsity Gymnasium by the pep band to cheer on the varsity basketball team against Newton South.

Xaverian entered the game 4-4 (1-1 Catholic Conference), fresh off a 14-point 4th quarter comeback at BC High. In front of a packed house, Xaverian hoped to secure a win and move themselves one game closer to a spot in the MIAA Division 1 South Tournament. The crowd (clad in themed-summer attire, right down to the sunscreen and Hawaiian shirts) seemed to play a role in the game from the minute the Hawks starting lineup was announced, and the enthusiasm was evident to Xaverian Head Coach, Robert Bruckner: “The environment that night definitely gave us a lift. We fed off of the clever cheers and the enthusiasm brought by our current and future students.”

The Hawks’ tough, physical, team-oriented brand of defense kept them in the game early, and although they trailed by 3 at the end of the 1st quarter, they held the Lions to a mere 12 points.

The game remained competitive during the 2nd quarter and the Hawks headed to the locker room at the half, down 26-25. Sophomore Thomas Arrigal was leading the team in scoring with 6 points on the half.

At times in the 3rd quarter, it seemed the Hawks were about to pull away, but the Lions held tough, only trailing Xaverian 44-41 at the conclusion of the quarter. The real excitement of the game came in the waning minutes, with the crowd on the edge of its seat.

With 40 seconds left in the game, the Hawks were down 58-56, needing a stop on defense. Senior Captain Andrew Clarke forced a turnover along the baseline to give Xaverian the ball. As guard Roman Baratta ’19 brought the ball down, the Hawks hoped to run their offense effectively to either take the lead or tie the game at 58. Baratta found Captain Marckenley Lima ’19 on a dribble handoff, who skipped the ball into the high post where Dimitri Charlot ’19 was there for the catch. As Charlot drove toward the hoop, Lima slipped back out to the perimeter and Charlot passed it back to him. Lima banked the three from the elbow off the glass to put the Hawks up one.

On the ensuing Lions possession, Marckenley Lima appeared to Hawks fans to make a clean block on Newton South’s shooter; however, a foul was called on the three-point shot. The first two free throws were missed, and the third went in to tie the game. The Hawks were unable to score on the final possession of regulation and it sent the game to overtime, 59-59.

Xaverian sophomore guard, Michael Berluti, had a big overtime, scoring every point for the Hawks. Andrew Clarke grabbed a rebound with the Hawks down 1 and only 16 seconds remaining. The ball was brought across half court where Roman Baratta found Dimitri Charlot in the low post. He kicked the ball out to an open Baratta who just missed off the right iron, but Berluti was there to grab the offensive board. With 3 seconds left, Berluti drained the putback, a contested baseline jumper, to put the Hawks up 1.

With just seconds remaining, Newton South called for a timeout, hoping to run a full-court miracle play to win the game. The pass fell to the ground as the buzzer sounded. The court was stormed by students celebrating an exciting end to a great night!

Xaverian currently sits at 7-7 (2-4 Catholic Conference), and hopes to gain a berth in the 2019 MIAA state tournament with 10 wins.

Remaining schedule

2/1 vs SJP at 7:00 p.m.

2/4 vs O’Bryant at 5:30 p.m.

2/8 vs MC at 7:00 p.m.

2/12 at BR at 7:00 p.m.

The season will conclude with the Westwood Tournament.

See the full album of Hawk Fest photos on Xaverian's Flickr.
2019 Hawk Fest
A private, Catholic, college preparatory day school for boys in grades 7-12. The Boston area prep school offers a rigorous academic curriculum, a well-developed campus ministry program focused on faith, character, and leadership, and a proud athletic tradition featuring competitive Division 1 high school athletics in the Catholic Conference.