On Tuesday, Jan. 25, the boys’ varsity basketball team battled hard against the Branson Bulls, but the game ended with a 51-39 loss. The Giants are currently placed third in MCAL according to MaxPreps.
After junior Miles Squires drained a three-pointer for the first points of the game, Branson responded with five points and two free-throws, only to be once again shut-down by a quick two points from junior Scott Matthews and another free throw from Squires. After continuing to trade baskets, the first quarter ended with Branson leading 14-8. This back and forth battle continued for the remainder of the half, starting with a three point shot from junior Jake Mathews and another two points from senior Omar Elliot-Diab.
Redwood fans went wild as junior Jack Gerson denied the Bulls a layup and sent their player sprawling. However, despite the Giant’s defensive efforts, Branson left the second quarter with 26 points and Redwood with 18.
Branson started the third quarter with five points and a tight defense. However, senior Alex Diaz soon added two to Redwood’s score, along with junior Chance Farrell-Martin picking up two points and a free throw on a foul, and Scott Matthews bringing in another free
throw. Branson retaliated with another three points, limiting the Giants to six points, and the Bulls to eight. During the fourth quarter Redwood started strong with Gerson and Farrell-Martin scoring two points each and Diaz scoring another two soon after. However, Branson upped their offense and scored 17 points in the quarter, while Redwood only put another 15 on the board.
Redwood’s achilles heel in Tuesday night’s game was their struggle to make free throws against Branson, making only 50 percent of the free throws they took, according to MaxPreps.
Head coach Steve Compagno said that free throws have been an ongoing issue.
“It’s like an ingrown hair on your back that you just can’t get at,” Compagno said. “They didn’t really beat us, we beat ourselves. You gotta make free throws, it’s very important.”
Diaz and senior Josh Katz agree that the team lost momentum towards the end of the game.
“We went out there and basically just didn’t execute, both defensively and offensively. We were there with our effort, we just didn’t put the final pieces together. We need to come out strong, come out with a bang, and show the league what we are,” Katz said.
Coach Compagno does not blame the players for what happened on the court.
“They’re a good team, we’re a good team, and it just boils down to who does the little things,” Compagno said. “They just did a few more little things than we did. But we played hard and we put the ball in the hoop. Coaches lose games, players win games.”
Redwood hopes to find redemption as they face off against the San Rafael Bulldogs Friday, Jan. 26 at San Rafael High School.