Beamer boys basketball team rolls into 2023 with a win

The Todd Beamer Titans boys basketball continued to roll this season, winning their fifth game in a row by taking down Kennedy Catholic on Jan. 7 with a score of 77-69.

“It’s a league win. I am proud and happy we got out of here with a win,” said Titans Head Coach Brent Brilhante.

The Titans came out in different warm-up shirts than normal on Saturday. It was a maroon shirt with white lettering that said Wheaton across the chest. It was a way to honor Todd Beamer, the school’s namesake and 9/11 hero who attended Wheaton Academy in Illinois. It was the players’ choice and idea to wear them, according to Brilhante, and the shirts have been in the equipment room for a couple of years.

The win brought Beamer’s record to 2-2 in league play, sliding them into eighth place in the NPSL. They are one of five teams in the NPSL that have only played four league games. However, they have the third most wins in the league with 9.

It was a message for the team to start the new year off with a win, having not played a game in nine days.

“We wanted to get some momentum coming into 2023, and it feels good to get a win to start the year,” said Beamer junior Will Tellis.

Kennedy came to compete against the Titans, and after a highly competitive first quarter, the Titans held a slim 18-14 lead.

The second quarter, the teams both scored 20 points. Beamer held a four-point lead despite not shooting that well from three-point land, which has been their strong suit throughout the season.

But Brilhante wants them to continue to put up those shots: “I always get on them to shoot because they are shooters, and they should shoot wth confidence.”

The Titans led by as much as 12 in the first half, but Kennedy was able to make a couple of runs of their own to keep it close.

The third quarter was the most competitive of the game. The Titans came in with the lead and left with the lead, and during the quarter, there were three ties and five lead changes — more than the rest of the game combined.

The scoring was done by essentially all juniors. Caleb Berry finished with 19 points, Will Tellis had 23 and Jahlil Loyd scored 16. The three accounted for 75% of the Titans’ points against the Lancers.

Tellis dropped a line from a famous basketball musical as well for his offensive message to himself and his teammates: “Keep your head in the game,” he said. “Sometimes my teammates get down if they take a bad shot. I pick them up. Even when I get down, they are there for me.”

It is the third time the Titans have allowed over 60 points out of 11 games. Even though the Titans played well, Brilhante knows this team can play better.

“69 points is too much to give up,” he said. “We’re not happy defensively. We also just need to rebound better as well.”

Tellis has a little different idea of what really allowed Beamer to play three quarters of stress-free basketball, and it came down to a defensive strategy: “We play a certain defense, it’s our bread and butter. Teams just have a hard time beating it… That helped us win tonight.”

On Jan. 10, the Beamer lost their home conference game against Kentridge by a score of 66-56. Beamer takes on Decatur on Jan. 13.