Dawn of a New Era in Webb Basketball

Professor Richard Harris at Webb Institute  Written by Richard Harris

It was certainly at least twelve years ago, and maybe seventeen. Some think maybe longer. However that may be, on November 5, 2022, history was made at Webb. The basketball team won a game! The fall of 2022 saw an influx of freshmen players—Finn Ackerman, Caleb Breckenfelder, Kyle Breen, Ethan DesJardins, Jack Jackson, Aiden Kavanagh, Ryan Krimper, and Corbin Olney, and the return of juniors, Tim Lazouski, Max Mah, Jack Otto, the first appearance of junior Addison Pope. Four seniors—Gabe Allen, Jonathan Allen, Eric Heilshorn, and Mark Reed—anchored the starting team, with the fifth senior, Jacob Dillistin, always calm and dependable, a backup at the guard position. And then there was freshman Andrew Karafa, one of the very rare breed among Webb basketball players: he is 6’4” and he played high school basketball.

Coach Harris talking strategy with the team during a timeout.

So, when the first game of the 2022 season arrived, Coach Koleda and I were wondering how things might go. “Coach K’ had already led the soccer team to two victories in their season, which had ended only ten days before the basketball season began. Now it was up to the basketball team to try to find at least one win too. Unfortunately, true to the Webb tradition, the basketball players had not been able to shoot the 100 to 150 jump shots per day that is considered a bare minimum for development as an effective shooter.

Evidently, the players from the Culinary Institute hadn’t been able to do that either. At the end of a low-scoring first half, Webb led 15 to 10. With many shots being missed, it was important to control the backboards, and Gabe, Eric, and Mark did just that. When Culinary attempted a full-court press, Webb easily broke it. With his ballhandling skills, Jonathan was able to control the ball and set up the offense. As far as scoring was concerned, Andrew took care of most of that. He had ten points at the end of the first half.

A few minutes into the second half, with Webb holding its lead, Lauren Carballo began emailing the students on campus who weren’t at the game to come to the gym to see the possibility of a Webb win. Andrew added another eleven points in the second half. Down the stretch, Jonathan and Caleb added key baskets, and when the final buzzer sounded, the score was 31 to 25. I probably should have searched for a line from Shakespeare that would suit the moment, but I didn’t. I told Lauren that I was simply stunned.

Andrew Karafa ’26 playing for a jump ball.

The remaining games proved more difficult, but I think everyone on the team will remember that day. The win was a tribute to the Webb players who came out for the team in the greatest number ever in Webb basketball history; to the leadership of the team captains, Jonathan and Mark; and to the players’ dedication and commitment to become better players and, win or lose, to enjoy playing the game.


Women’s Basketball

  Written by Shayla McCombs

Rebecca Carson ’26 driving to the hoop during a Webb home game.

The 2022 Women’s Basketball team started their season with four returning Seniors. Captains Erin Postma ’23 and Kasey Kennedy ’23 led the way along with Natalie Webb ’23 and Tori Kim ’23. The team was led by our new Women’s Basketball Coach Shayla McCombs, our very own Shanna Hamilton’s daughter! She was an All-Star player in High School and College. The team learned a lot about the game and enjoyed their season. Hopefully, we can get enough interest in the coming years to keep the Women’s team afloat. Congrats to all of the Lady Webbies. Shayla will be the Assistant Coach of the basketball team alongside Richard Harris this fall.