Boys basketball loses 33-44 to new rival, Saratoga

Boys basketball loses 33-44 to new rival, Saratoga

Emily Vu

Boysbasketball1Upsetting loss for team despite solid free-throw game

After a strong first half, the varsity boys basketball team gradually lost their momentum until the final minutes of the game. However, the final push was not enough to give them the victory. Following a loss by the girls basketball team to rival Lynbrook High School, the boys weren’t able to fend off their new rival of the league, the Saratoga Falcons. Despite their solid free-throw game and smooth passes, they lost 33-44 on Jan. 21.

“We definitely lacked the energy and intensity we usually play with, and the scoreboard reflected that,” junior Jason Huang said. Sophomore Cory Low fights for the rebound against a Falcon defender. The varsity boys basketball team lost to Saratoga 33-44. Photo courtesy of Ben Yang.

In the first quarter, the score flip-flopped between the two teams. After being down 0-4, MVHS came back 5-4 with strong defense and saves. The first quarter endedwith the Matadors trailing 9-14.

In the second quarter, after a shot by junior George Geha, senior Ryan Michelfelder moved swiftly past a Falcon defender and passed to junior Adi Watave, who scored a basket to tie the game up at 16-16. Soon after, Watave made his free throw shot to put the Matadors ahead.

Just as the buzzer was about to ring to end the first half, junior Thomas Jennings juked his defender and sent a quick pass to Watave, who dodged a Falcon defender to score a lay-up, tying the game up 19-19.

Michelfelder started off the third quarter with an uncontested, clean shot to put the Matadors in the lead 21-19. However, it didn’t remain like that for long. Despite the well-played first half, the team found themselves uncomfortably trailing the Falcons throughout the second half.

As Falcon number 33 Stevie Berman led the Saratoga offense, the Matadors started to lose their momentum and intensity—fast.

“During the first couple minutes of the third quarter we just committed turnovers or took quick shots. In the blink of an eye, we were down by more than 10,” Huang said.

The Falcons moved past MVHS defense and put up continuous shots, giving them a 32-21 lead and stunning the Matadors. In an attempt to tighten the score, Michelfelder blocked a possible shot, which then allowed the Matadors to move down the court. Well executed passes soon allowed Geha to score and lessen the lead 23-32.

The Matadors took many risks offensively, with shot attempts spiraling around the rim, unfortunately missing the basket. However, with five seconds left on the clock, Geha scored and the third quarter ended 25-34.

Scoring during the fourth quarter mainly consisted of free-throws by Geha, Jennings, and junior Mihir Chavan. The team put up a solid free-throw game until the game ended 33-44.

“Coach always feels that we have to concentrate on the way we’re playing instead of how our opponents do. We believe that if we could run our plays, we were going to be fine,” Huang said. “But we didn’t, and that’s why we lost.”

Despite the loss against Saratoga, the boys basketball team intends to bring its A-game when they play Wilcox on Jan. 28.