A disappointing end to a great season

A disappointing end to a great season

Natalie Wong

Boys varsity basketball loses first round of CCS with a score of 54-59

Venturing out to the farm lands of Hollister, Calif., the boys varsity basketball team entered their first and unfortunately last round of CCS on Feb 23. Winning first place in the El Camino league with an impressive league record of 9-3, the Matadors went up against the San Benito Balers for a chance to advance to the second round. 

After an intense beginning to their game with back-and-forth scoring by both teams, the first quarter ended with a close score of 14-13 with the Matadors slightly trailing behind the Balers. 
However, that quickly changed when the Balers easily scored several consecutive baskets after taking advantage of the Matadors’ failing defense and numerous turnovers, thus upping their score to 23-15. 

After varsity coach Matt Tait called a time-out to discuss the boys’ disappointing performance on the court, the Matadors stepped up their defense and junior Ryan Michelfelder managed to score a two-pointer along with a free-throw to lessen the eight-point lead to 18-23. 

As soon as senior Jonathan Huang checked back in, he immediately scored two more points for the Matadors with just 20 seconds left in the second period. Junior Mihir Chavan managed to draw a foul for the Matadors as the clock was winding down to the last two seconds, and made both his free throws, ending the first half with yet another close score of 22-24. 

The boys had a strong to start the second half, with a quick pull up jumper by senior Kevin Wu, making the score even at 24-24. They continued to keep pace with the Balers till a smooth pass by Wu to led to a wide open three pointer by Huang, finally pulling the Matadors to a 29-28 lead. 

The Matadors’ offense was extremely confined by the Balers defensive strategy.

"We had a real problem getting it inside to [senior] Krish Rangarajan, they dared us to hit outside shots and we didn’t hit outside shots," coach Tait said. 

With Rangarajan triple-teamed in the paint, the rest of the team was challenged with outside shots.

The Matadors managed to keep pace with San Benito for the remainder of the quarter, till the final seconds when the Balers hit a half court circus shot, ending the third with a score of 41-37.

Undaunted by the theatrics at the end of the third quarter, the boys came back strong in the beginning of the fourth, with Rangarajan starting things off with a three. 

Though they still trailed the Balers, strong defense by the Matadors forced turnovers on the other side, which did not allow San Benito to pull more than four points away till the end of the quarter. After staying within three points for a majority of the final few minutes, the boys were not able to put together a clutch performance and sink the much needed three. With 21 seconds left, the Balers finally extended their three point lead, and the Matadors were forced to foul, eventually losing the game 54-49. 

After a strong season in league, finishing in first place, the boys varsity basketball team ended their season with a close and disappointing defeat.