Rays’ Hoopin’ Highlights


Kathryn Barry, Contributing Writer

The MIA Rays had nothing short of an exhilarating basketball game against the St. John Neumann Celtics this past Tuesday. Although the hard fought game ended in a narrow loss of 60-70 for the Rays, each of the players fought with intensity until the very end.

The Rays started out strong and led for the majority of the first quarter. Neumann gained the lead toward the end of the period, which ended in a 21-19 Neumann lead. Neumann stayed ahead the rest of the game, but the Rays closed the gap to within 2 points in the third quarter. Despite getting into early foul trouble and having crucial players on the bench, the Rays stayed in the fight. They brought aggressive defense and rebounding together with skillful gameplay.

Head Coach of the Rays Travis Barry said, “I was proud of my guys. They played together and with heart to the bitter end. We were greatly outsized and playing in an unfriendly environment, but our guys showed grit, toughness and impressive skill. If we had not gotten into foul trouble I think we would have come out on top.”

Although Neumann’s starting five outweighed the Rays’ by what appeared to be 200 pounds, the Rays used their three point shooting skill and their defensive intensity to keep the Celtics on their toes. Team captains Kevin Barry and Johnny Watt had impressive performances. Barry led all scorers with 28 points and nine rebounds while rounding out his game with three crucial steals. Watt filled the stat sheet with 22 points, eight rebounds, four assists and five steals. Kyler Howard and Tony Castillo also contributed five crucial points, 12 rebounds, and six assists combined. The Rays also got contributions from Joe Reisinger, John Boxma, Quintin Fitton, Nick Smithem and Shamus Coyle. The Rays’ two incoming freshmen Grayson Jones and Ryan Sweeny had their varsity debut. The Rays are anticipating getting Lucas Hodgdon back from injured reserve.

The boys won their first game against the Imagine School of North Port with a final score of 57-50. Their next game is at 6:00pm this Friday at the MICMS gym against Mason Classical Academy. Go Rays!