The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

 Mustangs defeat the Warriors 

Gregory Buranich
Following the NC Lady Warriors’ basketball team’s (18-7)landslide victory against cross-town rival, Kennesaw Mountain, NC honored the senior boys and girls players, managers and cheerleaders for a senior night ceremony. As the clock struck 7:30, the boys varsity basketball team (6-19) felt ready to take on their rivals. Nonetheless, NC’s strong offensive force did not make up for Kennesaw Mountain’s tough offense, and the Warriors lost to the Mustangs 51-67.

Friday, February 9, the varsity Warriors boys basketball team (6-19)  took a tough loss in a highly competitive game against rival Kennesaw Mountain Mustangs(5-20). Family and friends joined in the NC Arena to recognize the seniors as they prepared for the last games of their high school career. This game also marks the end of the regular basketball season, leaving the Warrior boys with a 6-19 overall score. 

To prepare for the game, students gathered in the arena during 4th period Friday for an eventful pep rally. During the event, coaches of spring sports such as track and field, swim and dive, boys and girls lacrosse and girls and boys basketball recognized their senior players. Following their recognition, head volleyball coach Stephen Sansing honored the varsity girls’ volleyball team (42-9)for winning the 7A state championship. The NC student body applauded the Lady Warriors as they received their honorary rings.

To conclude the hoopcoming pep rally, NC hosted a 10 vs 10 basketball game of staff versus students. The joyous environment of the Arena that afternoon encouraged students to attend the matches that the Arena would hold that night. 

Starting at 7 pm, basketball players, cheerleaders and sports managers walked with their family members to commemorate their achievements over the past four years. The ceremony ended with the announcer recognizing Environmental science teacher and NC Lady Warriors basketball(18-7) head coach John Speeny’s retirement after teaching at NC for over 20 years.

Senior center Vally Kone(0) provided the Warriors with an advantage over the Mustangs after securing the opening tip-off. Passing it off to senior Malique Card (1), the Kone-Card dyad allowed for a three-pointer early in the game. Kone continued to make several assists, passing it to senior point guard Marvin Maina (22) for a layup. 

Maina continued his excellence throughout the first quarter, stealing the ball from the Mustangs and putting forth an and-1 (8-5). Partnering with senior small forward/power forward Noah Holloway (12), Maina aided Holloway through his aggressive tussle, permitting both players to post two layups before the end of the first quarter (14-13).

“The most crucial moments in my basketball career were getting over tough losses like Friday night and trying to get better and worry less about what is coming up next. I hope I can help younger players achieve their dreams because I know a lot of the younger kids look up to me. I had to work for everything I have, it never just came to me. It’s hard work and dedication and takes a lot of guts,” Holloway said.

Fueled by a close match against their rivals, each player showed out and played his best. Holloway, utilized his 6 ‘3 height advantage on his opponents, putting the score 16-20. Exemplifying his offensive and defensive skill set, Holloway blocked any point attempts from the Mustangs. Stealing the ball from KMHS, the senior-night-packed stands roared as Holloway yet again put another layup on the board for NC.

The seniors dominated the first half, performing superbly for their senior nights. Through collaboration, Maina and Card kept a one-point gap behind the Mustangs, the duo putting eight points on the scoreboard in the last minute of the first half. As the Warriors walked off the court trailing behind the Mustangs by one point (27-28,) they knew they needed to put more effort into their defense. 

Picking up from where they left off, Maina started the third quarter off with a layup and gave the team hope for the second half of the game. The Mustangs, however, applied consistent force, putting the Warriors on a struggle bus. To make a breakthrough attempt, senior point guard Davi Mcneal(20) and Holloway put forth their best efforts to make back-to-back layups (36-40). After setting the atmosphere for a determined win, Maina managed to steal the ball from the Mustangs and pass it to Holloway to make yet another dunk. The Mustangs continued to make shots consecutively, but the Warriors still attempted to keep up as Mcneal made two shots toward the end of the third quarter(41-51).

Starting off the last quarter strong, junior point guard Elson Gichuhi(2) made a three-pointer, putting the Warriors 44-51. Though Gichuhi’s effort put the Warriors closer to the Mustangs, this did not last for long. After a pass from Card, Holloway made a layup, and Mcneal made back-to-back acrobatic layups, putting the Warriors 51-67.

“The last home game as a high school student was a very significant moment for me that I’ll never forget. My advice to the youth is to work hard even when you don’t feel like it because it will pay off. I hope to impact other aspiring basketball players by showing that heart over height is a rethink and if I played through adversity you can too,” Mcneal said.

Although the Warriors ended the regular season with a loss against their rival, they reflect on their loss in preparation for playoffs. With plans to face the Cherokee Warriors(12-13) Wednesday, February 13, NC feels determined to win the Warrior-Warrior faceoff.

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About the Contributors
Jasmina Buranich, Editor in Chief
Jasmina Buranich, a senior at NC, joined The Chant in 2022 to fulfill her passion for editing and learning about the writing techniques of others, sharing her opinions and research and networking with others. As she enters her last year on The Chant, she hopes to create meaningful memories with her fellow editors and reporters, meet new friends, highlight the successes of minority students at NC and continue publishing her research about the criminal justice system. When not writing, Buranich enjoys spending time with her friends, traveling with her family, volunteering in Cobb County and nationally, and helping her classmates with their academic assignments. After high school, Buranich hopes to attend a large university with a diverse student body and, hopefully, a student-led newspaper.
Lauren Lee, Copy Editor
Lauren Lee, a senior at NC, is an editor for The Chant. She joined in January 2022 during her sophomore year. She loves writing about recent global events and health crises; she finds a way to turn these topics into impactful and enticing articles. She can be seen reading the New York Times daily to research information about national and global issues. Helping others become better writers and finding their passion also lies in her interests. When she is not writing, she is volunteering at food banks, spending time with family and friends  and shopping.   

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