Will Vars boys’ basketball become kings of the court?

Senior center and forward Amaan Shaikh making a layup on Feb. 24. Photo by Kenny Dzib

Referees were calling fouls all night, but the varsity boys’ basketball team came out on top, decimating the Academy Wolves in the first game of the playoffs on Feb. 24, 72–35. They are now taking on the Mission Bears in the championship game tonight.


The first quarter on Feb. 24 started with Academy winning the tip off, leading to an immediate two point layup. However, this would be their only points of the quarter. The Cardinals took possession back after a rebound from senior guard Max Hum, and tied the score up with a layup from senior forward Isaac Finestone. Academy was pulling some aggressive plays, resulting in players racking up fouls from the very start. The quarter ended with Lowell in the lead, 14–2.

In the second quarter, the Cardinals started to heat up on the field, keeping Academy from scoring points by maintaining their strong defense and keeping turnovers to a minimum. Their offense was also working full force, with passes between the players connecting smoothly. The Cardinals ended the quarter up 35–9.

Junior guard Jared Wong dribbles past an Academy Wolf defender. Photo by Kenny Dzib

The Cardinals kept the trend going, further extending their lead in the third quarter. Both teams kept up the aggressive plays. The referees continued to call fouls, despite the aggressive defense from both teams. Late in the quarter, after Academy missed a layup, Lowell tried to get the rebound. Academy was not having that, and the resulting tussle ended in a five person dog pile.

Academy started to catch up in the fourth quarter, after the introduction of a new player on the floor and a series of three pointers. Lowell didn’t let that upset them, and took advantage of their free throws in the fourth quarter, converting seven out of their nineteen points of the quarter. The Cardinals came out on top in the end, 72–35.

This was also the last home game for the seniors, who called it “bittersweet”.

This was the first time Lowell had played Academy this season, which meant extra preparation from the team. “It was a bit strange.” Finestone said. “We had tape on them, so we went over it, but it’s always interesting playing a new team we hadn’t seen before. We hadn’t played any of their guys.”

This was also the last home game for the seniors, who called it “bittersweet”. “It was nice to play in front of the home crowd, but it was kind of sad that I’ll never get to do it again” Finestone said.

The Cardinals won their next game against the Washington Eagles on March 1 at Kezar Stadium in the semifinals match, securing their spot in the district finals, which will take place today, March 3 at Kezar Stadium at 7 p.m.