Varsity boys’ basketball team’s plans for victory thwarted by Eagles

Originally published on January 27, 2016

Junior forward Isaac Finestone. Photo by Leonard Caoili

With the clock winding down and an arena packed with panicking, screaming fans, the varsity boys’ basketball team tries to capitalize on the last moments of the game. Silencing the Cardinals’ fans sitting on the bleachers, the buzzer sounds and signals the end of the game. On Jan. 15, the Cardinals fell short 39–36 against the Washington Eagles in the Battle of the Birds game at Kezar Pavilion.

From the onset, the team was unable to start the game as planned. Senior center-forward Caleb Hilladakis had four of the team’s six points in the first quarter. The Cardinals attempted many jump shots in the first quarter, but not many of them translated into points. With many missed baskets, the Cardinals trailed 12–6 at the end of the first quarter.

Determined to take control of the board in the second quarter, the Cardinals started converting their shots and penetrating into the paint. Disrupting the Eagles’ defense, sophomore guard Kevin Fok scored four of the Cardinals 12 points. The Cardinals finished the first half with a slim two-point lead.

Carrying over from the second quarter, the Cardinals’ momentum flowed into the third. The Cardinals started to convert more jump shots into points. Junior forward Isaac Finestone contributed to six of the Cardinals 11 total points. By the end of the third, the Cardinals extended their lead to 31–26.

Scoring only five points in the fourth, Cardinal offense broke apart under the pressure to bring home gold. The Eagles outscored them with thirteen points. The Cardinals walked off the court in despair losing 39–36.

The team continues to improve upon itself with every passing game, regardless of the outcome. “We need to get mentally and physically tougher, which includes trusting each other and accepting our roles on the team,” coach Robert Ray said. “The good news is that we are doing that and with each loss and win we are getting better and heading in the right direction, by the end of the season we could be really good.”

The Cardinals next game will be on home turf on Jan. 25 at 5:30 p.m. against the Lincoln Mustangs.