A Rowdy Rooter cheering rout

Emily Vu

Varsity boys basketball loses 34-39 to the Cupertino Pioneers

 

A boisterous crowd at Cupertino High School egged on by their own cheering leaders, better known as the Cupertino Rowdy Rooters, aided the Pioneers in creating an extremely upsetting Matador loss, 34-39, at their first quad night of the year on Jan. 22. This loss places the Matadors at a tie for second place in the league alongside the Pioneers. 

The Matadors opened up the scoring with senior Krish Rangarajan, the team’s leading scorer with an average of 17.5 points a game, scoring two points from free throws. This strong start, coupled with their tough defense, pressured the Pioneers to max out the shot clock and turn over the ball.

At the end of the first quarter, the Matadors were tied with the Pioneers, 9-9.
 
The Pioneers started the second quarter with a five-point run that allowed them to take the lead 14-9.


However, the Matadors soon picked up their performance, and soon trailed the Pioneers by only one point, with a score of 19-20. With seconds left in the first half, Rangarajan was called for a defensive foul, which gave the Pioneers the chance to score two more points and put them in the lead 22-19 to close out the first half.

To celebrate the Pioneer lead, a Rowdy Rooter grabbed a Cupertino High School flag and ran up and down the court, waving the flag during the beginning and end of halftime. 

Rangarajan scored a basket to kick-off the third quarter and put the Matadors close behind the Pioneers 21-22.


The Matador defense was pressured by the boastful Cupertino crowd and allowed the Pioneers to go on a scoring run, widening the gap to 21-27.  However, senior Johnathan Huang scored a three-pointer to end the Pioneer streak. The third quarter ended with the Matadors behind 26-35. 

This prompted the Rowdy Rooters to lead the crowd in cheers of "winning team" while pointing to the Pioneers and then "losing team" when pointing at the Matadors. 

 
The Matadors made a collaborative effort to catch up to the Pioneers in the fourth quarter, but unfortunately, their attempt fell short of victory. The Matadors were able to score seven more points, while their defense allowed the Pioneers only three points due to fouls. Rangarajan was called for kicking the ball when a Pioneer player tried to pass it between his legs, resulting in a turnover for the Matadors at a crucial point in the game.  


"We basically learned to stick to our game and not play to the other team’s tempo," junior Ryan Michelfelder said. 

The game ended, 34-39, for the Matadors as Michelfelder tried to score a basket in a last ditch attempt.  The Matadors hope to bounce back with a victory against Milpitas High School at home on Jan. 27.