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Boys’ basketball couldn’t capitalize in the Battle of the Birds

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By Arthur Register

Originally published on February 6, 2015

Sophomore guard Adam Gardi goes for a layup in the Cardinals 38–34 loss to Washington in the Battle of the Birds. Photo by Aida Irving

Despite a lead in first half, the Cardinals were unable to thwart the Washington Eagles in the Battle of the Birds on Jan. 16, ending the game 38–34.

The team lost control of the speed of the game, finalizing their defeat, according to sophomore guard and team captain Maxwell Hum. In the first quarter, Lowell had a big lead on Washington. The Cardinals did not press the opponent’s offense, and they took their time waiting for a good shot at the basket, instead of rushing. However, in the second quarter, Washington put in two tall players, and began playing more aggressively. This, according to Hum, was when the Cardinals lost control of the tempo. Washington began playing more aggressively, and pressured Lowell’s offense at every opportunity. The game shifted from patient, opportunistic passing plays to back and forth mad dashes for the basket.

Washington began playing more aggressively, and pressured Lowell’s offense at every opportunity.

In the second half, the Cardinals became more aggressive. They were losing their lead, and desperately needed to regain control of the tempo of the game. They drew more fouls, but slowed down the pace of the game. Washington’s tall players remained in the game, but the Cardinals were unable to pressure them without risking speeding up the game.

Although Lowell recovered in the fourth quarter, they couldn’t catch up in time. Hum admitted they underestimated Washington, and would not make that mistake in the future. “We left the game with our heads held high,” sophomore guard and team captain Adam Gardi said. “We hope to play them again in the championships.”

Season Preview

With a new coach, the JV boys’ basketball team shows considerable promise with their formidable defense despite their loss to the Washington Eagles in the Battle of the Birds, and are aiming for the championship.

The Cardinals are beginning their season with an air of confidence. Although they have only played two regular season games, they are heavily prepared due to the numerous scrimmages and tournaments they participated in. Of the 14 preseason games they played, they won 11, including their final match in the El Camino Tournament with the Washington Eagles.

“The defensive team has to act based on how the offense acts. We won games when we had good defense.”

These practice matches gave the Cardinals the time and experience they needed to refine their reserved playing style. They maintain a steady pace throughout the game, with a focus on their man to man defense, meaning that each player is assigned an opponent to defend against. Good defense is more important to his team’s success than offense, according to new head coach Timothy Won. “Basketball is a reactionary game,” Won said. “The defensive team has to act based on how the offense acts. We won games when we had good defense.” On offense, they patiently pass the ball around in order to create scoring opportunities through mistakes in their opponents defense.

As the team’s new coach, Won firmly believes in his team’s abilities. Won tries to delegate the responsibility of the team’s actions to the players, according to Hum. “Last year our coach ran the show,” Hum said. “This year, it’s more on us to make decisions.” Won is doing this to develop the players’ instincts. Because players must constantly be reacting to their teammates’ and opponents’ actions, it can be difficult to think clearly during a game. Players have to juggle the tasks of watching their opponent, moving where they are needed, and keeping track of the ball, which leaves little time for thinking.

The level of decision–making needed to keep up with the action in basketball manifests itself over time, according to Won. The players will eventually learn to make instinctive decisions when needed. This concept is difficult to teach, and is simply picked up through experience.

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Boys’ basketball couldn’t capitalize in the Battle of the Birds