Boys basketball miss shot at CIFs after close games

Matthew Flores, Web Editor


Facing off against Del Norte in the last regular-season home game, the boys basketball team fell short to the Nighthawks 44-36, Feb. 11.
Forward Jason Wright (12) said that as for all games, the team spent a lot of time preparing for their opponents.
“It was very similar to our MC [rival] game where we really tried to go out and get a win especially since it was senior night,” Wright said. “Our coach did a really good job scouting their team, we knew exactly what to do and executed our plan on defense perfectly the first few minutes.”
Point guard Ryan Fordham (12) agreed, saying that the team had practiced and prepared in every way possible for the big game.
“For big games, especially like this one, our coach would have us watch the other team, go over their sets, and then have us play against each other using their sets so we can really get prepared for it,” he said.
Accompanied by a sturdy defense, the Wolverines moved the ball effectively in the first quarter, but were met with an even performance by Del Norte, leaving the score tied at nine after the quarter.

Wright, who had scored five of the nine points, said that the team played extremely well and hit the “bulls-eye” for each quarter.
“We have goals for each quarter and we try to keep the opposing team under that and we were able to keep [Del Norte] under 50 points the whole game.”
Fordham said the team was able to harness the excitement and turn it into the team’s driving force for their performance in the first quarter.
“I think we were all just really excited to play that night,” he said. “We had such a big crowd, a sold-out [game] and everyone was just feeding off the energy of the crowd.”
In the second quarter, Westview’s offense went cold and they fell behind, only scoring two points. At the half, they trailed 22-11.
“I think we were kind of overthinking,” Wright said. “And we tried to play driving lanes and kind of go on our own.”
During halftime coach Chase Fraser was able to deliver an inspiring and reviving speech to the team despite the heavy deficit.

“The big thing [Fraser] told us was to look to set a screen before looking for the ball, which creates more movement on the back half of the offense,” Wright said. “It makes sense since it allows for people to be more open and creates more space on the court. So, that was the thing that we had to fix and it worked in the third quarter.”
Fordham also stated that Fraser did an excellent job reassuring the team.
“He just let us know what we were doing wrong in the second, but also let us know that it’s not as bad as it seems, and we just started hitting a lot of shots after that,” Fordham said.
As the teams switched sides, the Wolverines started to gain momentum going into the third quarter and scored 11 points. However, Del Norte still maintained its lead over Westview, ending the quarter 39-22.

Del Norte was able to utilize their tall center who was able to constantly make layups for the Nighthawks, accounting for a good proportion of the opponent’s points.
“We didn’t have much of a problem with [their center] the first time we played, but we had to pick it up cause it was hard to play defense against a guy like that,” Wright said. “Especially at my height, you have to have a good lower half and a strong center. Normally I’d get around him to stop the ball from coming but at that point in the game I had three fouls so it was kind of tough and risky.”
Despite the loss, the Wolverines were still given a chance at CIFs with a playoff game against Lincoln High School, a team they had beaten before, but Westview came short that game, 52-45, Monday to close out their season.
“I think we could’ve played better fundamental defense in transition,” Wright said. “We could have finished around the rim better too.”
Similar to the game against Del Norte, Westview was up against even opponents, just a few points behind Lincoln in every quarter. The teams were fairly and evenly matched going neck and neck into the fourth with a score of 33-31, Lincoln ahead by just two points.

Unfortunately, like what happened against the Nighthawks, the Wolverines could not catch up with the Hornets in the last quarter.
“We fought hard in both games, but we just couldn’t grind it out in the fourth quarter.” Wright said.
Despite their losses, Fordham and Wright both agreed that they were able to look back and cherish their four years playing for the team.
“Freshman year was probably the most fun I ever had playing basketball,” Fordham said. “Seeing not just people from this school, but people I know from other schools that have all started on that freshman team, and now we’re all on varsity together.”
Through their journey, Wright said that the team had definitely come a long way and he’s proud to have played alongside such great teammates.
“Before [high school] I never played with people I went to school with, so when I played with the [seniors now] I thought, ‘Hey I could definitely see this four years in future varsity games,’” he said. “Seeing all these guys get so much better and competing against good teams like Del Norte makes it all worthwhile.”
Both Wright and Fordham have found a second family and forged unbreakable bonds with the other five seniors and previous team members that they will never forget.
“When I first got into high school those basketball guys were kind of the first guys I formed a bond with,” Wright said. “I would definitely say we have a strong connection and I could call on those guys for anything.”
While the boys’ seasons may be coming to a close and the seniors bid their farewells, the team has come far this season making unforgettable memories and putting on quite the show for Westview.
“It’s just been a really fun year and I’m glad I played,” Wright said. “We got the chance to show what we were made of and what we could do at playoffs.”