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Vars boys basketball lands in second place after losing a close battle to the Bears

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Senior Peter Lee attempts a three-pointer during the championship game against the Mission Bears on Mar. 2. Photo by Ethan Lei

O n Mar. 2, the varsity boys basketball team ended their 2017–2018 season in second place at the Academic Athletic Association championship game at Kezar Stadium, losing to the Mission Bears 58–51.

In preparation for this game, the Cards watched a past game film on the Bears to get familiar with the Bears’ playing style. “We already knew what type of game style they played. We knew they were going to play hard and pressuring basketball,” senior captain and guard Abhishek Khadka said.

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Soon after the game started, senior center and forward Ryan Gauthier made a two-pointer. Khadka and junior guard Jace Ng each made a three-pointer using their strong shooting skills. But the Bears caught up quickly, and the first quarter ended with the Bears leading 13–11.

In the second quarter, the Bears widened the point gap with many steals and turnovers from the Cards. The team only made one successful shot in the second quarter, which was Khadka’s two-pointer. However, the Cards earned 3 points from Gauthier’s free throws. However, the Cards were still down 26–16 after the first half.

Senior guard Abhishek Khadka looks for an opportunity to throw the ball. Photo by Ciara Kosai

The Cards started gaining more points in the third quarter. Both teams performed multiple steals, making the game very competitive. Additionally, Khadka and senior guard Peter Lee were able to make several two-pointers. Towards the end of the quarter, senior guard Kevin Fok took possession of the ball and ran down the court to the basket, assisting senior guard and forward Jonathan Lee in a three-pointer. Both teams gained a similar amount of points in the third quarter, which ended at 38–30; the Bears remained on top.

After several passes between Khadka and other team members in the last quarter, he successfully made a three-pointer. Soon after, Fok made a quick run to the basket and shot a two-pointer immediately after he received possession of the ball. Khadka made another three-pointer, narrowing the gap down to only five points. In the last minute, the game became more tense and aggressive. There were many fouls and timeouts for both teams. The Cards earned many free-throws, but it wasn’t enough. At the buzzer, they were seven points short.

Senior Jonathan Lee shoots a free throw. Photo by Ethan Lei

Although the loss was disappointing, the players enjoyed the game. “I could feel the energy, everyone was into the game. I can’t be more proud of my team,” Khadka said.

This championship game was even more meaningful for the senior players. Both Khadka and Fok felt nostalgic, as it is their last year at Lowell. “I will look back at it later in life and know I had a fun time,” Fok said. Fok also has high expectations for the team next year as he said, “Try to do what we did this year and make it to the championship.”

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Vars boys basketball lands in second place after losing a close battle to the Bears