The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

Boys Basketball narrowly falls to Leland High School 58-50

The Matadors lose momentum as the game enters overtime
Manas Kottakota
Senior and shooting guard Ruchir Banerjee defends an opponent in the paint.

Varsity Boys Basketball fell to Leland High School 58-50 on Thursday, Dec. 14. MVHS started off strong, ending the first quarter 14-10. However, LHS went on a short run in the second quarter, ending the third quarter up 40-35. After getting back into the game during the fourth quarter, MVHS allowed a buzzer-beater three-pointer that sent the game to overtime. LHS carried over its momentum from the end of the fourth quarter into overtime, ending the game with a score of 58-50.

Assistant Coach Gokul Pillai states that going into the game, one of the team’s goals was handling the pressure of LHS playing zone defense. Pillai notes that the performance of the team fluctuated throughout the game as the team played well in the first quarter, struggled in the second quarter but was able to turn it around in the second half of the game.

Junior and center Sanjog Dhillon had similar expectations for the game, noting that the matchup was more challenging considering one of MVHS’ starters wasn’t playing that day. Dhillon observed that the team’s performance significantly improved in the second half, but the team’s momentum wasn’t able to carry through to overtime.

Pillai commends the team’s resilience during the game but also attributes the loss to the Matadors’ lack of composure at the end of the game.

“We really turned the game around in the second half, so I’m proud of the team for being able to stay on course and not letting the run that they went on deter us too much, and finding a way to still fight back,” Pillai said. “Down the stretch, it’s unfortunate that we let them tie the game, but in overtime, I feel like we lost composure.”

Dhillon feels that the team did well defensively, but says the team can improve its communication on the court.

“I think defensively, we kept down to about 48 points before the end of the fourth quarter and we always have a goal to keep the teams under 50 points,” Dhillon said. “Communication is a big thing that the team could improve on. Also having basketball IQ, being smarter and knowing how many fouls we have to get.”

Pillai and Dhillon describe that during timeouts, the team would talk about how to increase pressure on LHS and make them uncomfortable, as well as how to use fouls to their advantage.

“As we entered overtime, we were just trying to implement some of the same plays we had beforehand, which was to get the ball into the high post in order to collapse their zone defense,” Dhillon said.

Pillai agrees that LHS’ buzzer-beater three-pointer put MVHS in a tricky situation, and he approached overtime with a goal to maintain composure. He says that while the outcome of the game wasn’t ideal, the team put up a good fight.

“Our goals are just to build on top of this,” Pillai said. “We have a lot of good plays and we had a lot of good things that happened in this game. The result isn’t as fortunate, but we had a lot of good things going for us.”


About the Contributors
Manas Kottakota
Manas Kottakota, Sports Editor
Manas is currently a junior and sports editor for El Estoque. In his free time, he enjoys biking with his friends, traveling to new places with his family and cooking.
Sagnik Nag Chowdhury
Sagnik Nag Chowdhury, Opinion Editor
Sagnik Nag Chowdhury is currently a junior and an opinion editor for El Estoque. In his free time, he likes watching TV, biking with his friends, trying new foods and discovering new places in Cupertino.
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