Sparked by Aririguzoh’s Energy, Production, Hun Boys’ Hoops Rolls Past Trenton Catholic
COMING THROUGH: Hun School boys’ basketball player Anthony Aririguzoh heads to the hoop in a game earlier this season. Last week, senior forward Aririguzoh tallied 10 points with four rebounds, two steals, and one assist to help Hun defeat Trenton Catholic 89-64. The Raiders, who defeated Springside Chestnut Hill (Pa.) 78-58 last Saturday as they moved to 8-6, play at the Peddie School on January 18 and Germantown Academy (Pa.) on January 21. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
Anthony Aririguzoh prides himself on being a catalyst for the Hun School boys’ basketball team.
“I am more of an energetic leader,” said Hun senior forward Aririguzoh. “I am really more of a get-guys-together leader. I get guys to where they have to be, talk on the court. I just contribute any way I can. That is my job around here, I am happy to do it.”
Last week as Hun hosted Trenton Catholic Prep, Aririguzoh did his job from the opening tip-off. Driving hard to the hoop, Aririguzoh scored the first bucket of the game to spark an early 11-3 run for Hun as it built a 41-23 halftime lead in the January 10 contest.
In the opening moments of the second half, the 6’6 Aririguzoh made a couple of steals and two hoops, including a thunderous dunk, as Hun reeled off nine unanswered points and never looked back on the way to an 89-64 triumph.
“It always feels good to contribute,” said Aririguzoh, who tallied 10 points with four rebounds, two steals and one assist in the win. “I think the dunk was really an exclamation point for our team, it really got us going. I am always happy to make plays like that. I am happy to be the energy guy because our team is really good when we are focused and energetic.”
With Hun coming into the evening having lost its first two games of 2023, falling 68-58 to Friends Select (Pa.) on January 5 and losing 67-63 to Mercersburg Academy (Pa.) two days later, the Raiders were intent on getting back on the winning track.
“I think the biggest word for our team today was focus,” said Aririguzoh. “We had big leads in both of those games, and we just threw them away. I think the biggest thing for our team was to lock down and not get too comfortable. It was a really big one and our team got behind me especially. We all came together for this one — we knew it was an important one.”
Aririguzoh enjoyed playing against Trenton Catholic as he went there for two years before transferring to Hun in 2020.
“It is always fun to play against guys you know,” said Aririguzoh.“It is fun to be able to play with those guys and be able to talk to them about the game.”
It has been fun for Aririguzoh to soak up some knowledge from his older brother, Richmond Aririguzoh, a former standout and two-time All-Ivy League performer for the Princeton University men’s basketball team from 2016-2020.
“I train with him all of the time,” said Aririguzoh, noting that his brother is currently playing pro ball in Belgium. “I have all of his moves down to a science. The biggest lesson he has taught me is body language, sometimes I let stuff get inside my head a little bit. I can’t be an effective leader that way. My teammates back me up, my coaches back me up, and my brother really talked me through the process. I have just grown and matured a lot being under his wing, so I am really happy about that.”
Hun head coach Jon Stone was happy with the energy that Aririguzoh displayed on the defensive end against Trenton Catholic.
“What is sticking out in my mind was the beginning of the second half defensively,” said Stone. “Anthony might have had two steals in three possessions. He is a really good defender — he has the ability to get steals in bunches.”
Aririguzoh also has the ability to inspire his teammates.
“He can really motivate the guys at times, he can really get excited and get the guys pumped up,” added Stone of Aririguzoh, who has 15 points, six rebounds, and three assists to help Hun defeat Springside Chestnut Hill (Pa.) 78-58 last Saturday and improve to 8-6. “He is a likable person — the guys like him and the coaches like him. When he plays hard, he is really good.”
Stone liked the way Hun played hard from the opening tip-off in the win over Trenton Catholic.
“It is always good when you make some shots early and get going,” said Stone. “I thought our defense was good early as well.”
The Raider backcourt duo of Anthony Loscalzo and Dan Vessey had a very good game in the victory as Loscalzo tallied 18 points and Vessey chipped in 16.
“Vessey has been scoring a lot inside, they both are great scorers,” said Stone. “They were taking it as it came to them tonight; certainly that helped propel us.”
Post-graduate star Symeon Efstathiou came through against the Iron Mikes, tallying seven points with some deft passing and good work on the boards.
“Symeon has the ability to dribble past, shoot and score,” said Stone. “He is so versatile, there isn’t anything he can’t do. His rebound numbers are off the charts, he has had at least two games of 20 rebounds. He is very versatile and brings a lot to the team.”
With Hun playing at the Peddie School on January 18 and Germantown Academy (Pa.) on January 21, Stone is looking for his team to keep bringing the intensity.
“We needed a win and we need a couple more,” said Stone. “We have some tough games coming up and we are really looking forward to them. We will hopefully be more consistent.”
Aririguzoh, for his part, believes that Hun needs to show the mental toughness it displayed against Trenton Catholic to keep winning.
“The biggest focus for us is just staying focused,” said Aririguzoh, who has committed to the admissions process at Wesleyan
University and will be playing for its Division III basketball program. “Every team is the same. Every team can beat us and we can beat every team on our schedule.”