Boys varsity basketball loses to Spartans in senior game

Boys varsity basketball loses to Spartans in senior game

Jacqueline Barr

Matadors lose with a final score of 40-54

The boys basketball team played the first place team in the El Camino league, Mountain View High School, on Feb. 15. The game celebrated the sole senior on the team, Ryan Michelfelder, who was an active part of the program for his four years in high school. Despite solid passes and steals, the Matadors (4-8-0) could not fend off the Spartans(10-1-0), losing 40-54. 

The Matadors came out with a strong defense in the first quarter, but the Spartans’ quick passing maneuvers and fakes poked holes in the team’s zone defense allowing several 3-point scoring opportunities. Still, the Matadors stayed in the game by pushing through the Spartan lines and beating their height with jump shots. In the second quarter, the Spartans began to widen their lead, shooting less often but scoring on the majority of their shots and ending the quarter 19-28.

The Matadors started the third half slow, trailing behind the Spartans who held a nine point gap. However, towards the middle of the quarter, the Matadors picked up pace and adjusted their defense to pressure the Spartans’ strong offense. Junior George Geha forced a turn-over by intercepting a pass by Mountain View and passed it all the way down the court. Despite three unsuccessful shots, the Matadors managed to rebound the ball and give the ball back to Geha, who scored a three-pointer swiftly into the basket, lessening the gap 25-33.·

Unfortunately, the Matadors’ rhythm didn’t continue throughout the rest of the quarter. Led by senior Brett Hughes of Mountain View, the Spartans went on a 7 point run. Right at the end of the third, Michelfelder landed a three-pointer, leading the team into the fourth quarter 30-43.·

“I don’t think they had a sense of urgency on the court compared to their other games,” coach Mani Messy said. “It wasn’t our best because our [thought] wasn’t there.”·

MVHS took advantage of the missed shots from the Mountain View offense in the fourth quarter but was still unable to pull through. The quarter began with a steal from Michelfelder, who dodged multiple Spartans defenders to run down the court only to get fouled. Making one of his free throws, he brought the score to 31-45.·

Despite their winning efforts, the Spartans recognized that the Matadors defense pressured the ball. “Our transitions were good, and we were taking good shots. But sometimes we rushed the ball too much, and it led to stupid mistakes on the court,” Hughes said.··

Down 33-54 towards the end of the quarter, the Matadors gave it their all and managed to go on a seven point lead of their own with shots by Geha and junior Kevin Chang. However, the clock cut the Matadors’ momentum short, as the last game of the season ended 40-54.·

“The sad thing is having to move on without one of the players,” Messy said. “He’s done his four years here and has given it his all, all the time at practice.”