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Belen vs. Columbus: Instant Classic

By Joseph Seara

Our boys varsity basketball team has had thrilling, gut-checking victories and last-minute losses, but that is of little importance when Friday afternoon rolls around. Tonight, January 15th, 7:30 PM at the Bank United Center at UM, the varsity team battles a relentless Belen squad whose seniors are looking for their first basketball victory since their sophomore year.

Leading the way for the Explorers is senior guard, Jose Mas. He is looking to shake off his last – and only – loss to Belen. In 2013, our JV squad, who many favored in that game, suffered a loss never too far from his mind. “That game hurt, but that’s not what any of us are thinking about. Were going to go out and do what we always do: play hard and play for each other. The rest will take care of itself,” claims Mas. Rising star, sophomore Dante Pace, is crucial for the team’s success. His pin-point accuracy from behind the three-point line propels his personal stats into the double digits and makes his teammates’ jobs easier. When asked on the importance of accurate three-point shooting, starting center Angel Sosa states, “When you have a guy like that who can consistently knock down the long-ball, it makes our lives in the paint battling and rebounding a lot easier.”

As for that school on 8th Street, they are equally as eager for Friday night. “Everybody is excited for the game, but we’re keeping our emotions in check. We’ve prepared as much as we can and are ready to go out and play,” says Belen Jesuit senior Luis Mejer. JV basketball opens the evening with tip-off at 6 PM, and varsity follows immediately after. Tickets are $20 dollars at the door. Good luck and Go Explorers!

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