Enjoying Senior Moment with Game-Winning Shot, Weiss Stars as Hun Boys’ Hoops Edges PDS 53-52
SENIOR MOMENT: Hun School boys’ basketball player Jack Weiss, left, battles for the ball in a game earlier this season. Last Wednesday, Weiss enjoyed a special Senior Night, scoring 11 points, including the game-winning three-pointer as Hun edged Princeton Day School 53-52. Over the weekend, Hun fell 53-46 to Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) in the opening round of the MAPL (Mid-Atlantic Prep League) tournament last Friday and then topped Lawrenceville 62-45 in a consolation game a day later. The Raiders, now 11-13, host West Nottingham Academy (Md.), on February 13 and then start action in the state Prep A tourney where they are seeded third and play at second-seeded Blair in a semifinal contest on February 17. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
As Jack Weiss went through his Senior Night for the Hun School boys’ basketball team last Wednesday evening, it prompted him to reflect on how far he has come in a journey across town after transferring from Princeton High.
“I am one of the longest tenured people here; it is crazy, it went by so quickly,” said Weiss, a Princeton resident who came to Hun in his sophomore year.
“It is emotional, I was thinking about all of the memories, my friends and meeting new people. I was at Princeton High before. It was a big switch. It was a different type of school, going to private from public.”
With Hun hosting crosstown rival Princeton Day School, 6’4 forward Weiss ended up having one of the biggest nights of his career, scoring 11 points, including the game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer as the Raiders rallied for a dramatic 53-52 win over the Panthers.
Trailing PDS 45-37 early in the fourth quarter, the Raiders were able to find an offensive rhythm.
“We started to move the ball more, we got open shots and the open shots win us basketball games,” said Weiss, who hit a three-pointer and then flew to the rim for a tip-in to help narrow the PDS lead to 47-46 midway through the fourth quarter.
“It was no selfish ball, the seniors wanted to win so we played for each other.”
Then in the waning seconds of the contest with Hun down 52-50, Weiss produced a moment he will never forget, lofting a three-pointer that found the bottom of the net and proved to be the margin of victory.
“When I was letting it go, it didn’t feel good off of my hands,” said Weiss.
“I saw it going off left, I was leaning over to the left side a little bit and then I saw it go through net. It caught me by surprise. I could not have asked for anything better, it was a storybook ending.”
As a key reserve for the Raiders, Weiss has looked to contribute in any way possible.
“I come off the bench a lot, we have a lot of young guys that I like to mentor,” said Weiss.
“We all root for each other when we get our chance. It is whoever is going to step up. A lot of guys play the same position. At any given moment, if someone is having an off day, there are four guys behind stepping up and playing well.”
Hun head coach Jon Stone likes the way his senior players have stepped up over their careers.
“We have six great seniors, they all have contributed in so many ways,” said Stone, whose senior group includes Xander Alvarado, Dylan Knight, Liam Gunnarsson, Max Adelman, and Amir Basma in addition to Weiss.
“The cool thing about them all is that they are all different, they are all unique and they all bring something unique to the table. We are going to miss each and every one of them. It is a little sad but the good news is that we are still playing.”
Reflecting on the PDS game, Stone pointed to playing good defense as a key factor in Hun’s comeback.
“We got some stops and got some loose balls,” said Stone. “We were able to get a little bit in transition and that opened things up for us but it was really the defensive end. We struggled to stop them most of the game, to get a couple of stops in a row really helped us and then we made some big shots.”
Stone was happy to see Weiss come up big in the fourth quarter. “That run (the 3 and tip) was huge for us, both of those coming from him,” said Stone.
“It was a big 3 and the tip was terrific. It was a tough play. and he tipped it beautifully in. It is great that it was one of our seniors who came through. Jack has been playing well. We have full confidence in him, shooting the ball and taking big shots like that.”
With Hun hosting West Nottingham Academy (Md.) on February 13 and then starting action in the state Prep A tourney where it is seeded third and plays at second-seeded Blair in a semifinal contest on February 17, Stone is hoping for a terrific finish to the season.
“Any time you get a win right before going into a tournament it is good and winning the close one too,” said Stone, whose squad fell 53-46 to Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) in the opening round of the MAPL (Mid-Atlantic Prep League) tournament last Friday and then topped Lawrenceville 62-45 in a consolation game a day later to move to 11-13.
“We have lost our share of tough close ones this year. It gives us the confidence to know what we need to do.”
Weiss, for his part, is confident that the win over PDS will pay dividends down the stretch.
“We can’t ask for anything better, beating a local team like PDS,” said Weiss. “We can just build up momentum for sure.”