On Thursday Jan. 11, the boys’ varsity basketball team (3-1) defeated the Justin Siena Braves (0-4) by a score of 48-45. The game seemed in the Giants’ favor from the second quarter when they attained a double digit lead until the fourth quarter where the Braves attempted to comeback.
Due to prior game film and the Braves’ losing record, the Giants knew that they were one of the weaker teams in the league, according to senior guard Drew Jacks. But, because of the Giants’ first loss in the league to Novato, senior guard Alex Diaz said that the team couldn’t lessen their competitiveness.
“We laid an egg against Novato, we know that we’re on thin ice and we can’t drop any other easy ones. Not that any of these games are easy, but we need to come out with intensity, effort and really put things away earlier,” Diaz said.
Through the first quarter, the Giants traded baskets with the Braves. The Giants persistently penetrated the paint for some nice close-range shots and lay-ins, while the Braves scored by primarily getting to the free throw line. The quarter ended with the Braves ahead 10-8.
Jacks thought that they should have started the game with more energy. According to Jacks, the energy refers to the defensive effort, making “hustle plays” and getting after every play.
In the second quarter, the Giants began to pull ahead from the Braves. A quick two points to start by junior guard Jake Matthews helped to set the tone for the second quarter. The Giants out scored the Braves 19 to seven in the quarter.
The full court press used by the Giants in the second quarter was extremely effective in limiting the ball movement of the Braves, allowing for quick fast breaks through steals and free throws. Going into halftime, the Giants were up 27-17.
Coming out of the half, the Giants attacked the Braves with the same game plan, keeping the Braves on their feet with fast paced double teams and full court press. The third quarter remained relatively close, where Redwood led 36-29 to end the period.
In the final quarter, the Giants lead would be challenged. The Braves pulled a string of threes together while consistently getting to the line. Despite the turnovers and comeback attempted by the Braves, the Giants were able to hold onto the lead for the win.
Junior guard Chance Farrell-Martin said that the comeback by the Braves may have been due to fatigue.
“It was a dead game for us. We were a little tired, it’s been a long week. There was a lack of focus and we needed to be more committed,” Farrell-Martin said.
The Giants’ next game was against the San Domenico Panthers on Jan. 12. Diaz said that the team needs to set the tone early on to avoid a close game against favorable opponents.
“We need to come out quicker. It’d help if we had some students at our games to fire us up more. It comes from the bench, the bench has got to be loud. Players on the floor need to give it their all, that way we can come out with a ton of energy and put things away early,” Diaz said.
Field Goal %: 40%
Free Throw %: 64%