Athletic, consistent, quick: Bullock powers through the league

Riley Overend

With only a few minutes remaining in last Friday’s televised matchup against Drake, senior point guard LaRon Bullock found himself with the basketball at the top of the key late in the shot clock. The designed play had broken down, and with the possession turning bleak, Bullock eyed the perimeter as if looking to pass the ball. However, in a brief fit of dramatic irony, his teammates knew something that his defender did not: Bullock wasn’t passing the ball.

Senior LaRon Bullock drives to the hoop in the game against Drake last Friday. Bullock finished out the game with 11 points, helping his team in their strong battle against the defending league champions.
Senior LaRon Bullock drives to the hoop in the game against Drake last Friday. Bullock finished out the game with 11 points, helping his team in their strong battle against the defending league champions.

Instead, the second-year varsity guard took matters into his own hands, opting to attack Drake’s star-studded interior of Jesse Hunt and Malik Huff rather than settling for a low-percentage shot from long range. A couple dribbles later, Bullock was at the rim, elevating and absorbing contact before finishing the layup and drawing the foul. The three-point play tied the game and sent the USA-themed Redwood crowd into a frenzy.

And while Bullock’s bold effort wasn’t enough to push the Giants (6-3) past the Pirates (9-0), his head-turning performance illustrates a newfound sense of leadership and scoring ability on the court. Last year, Bullock driving past his defender and finishing at the hoop would have come as a pleasant surprise to many. This year, it’s expected.

“LaRon has matured. He’s consistent with his play, with his energy and his effort,” said varsity coach Steve Compagno. “Last year, at times, he’d go in and out and it would directly affect his performance. But he’s someone I can count on, and he’s still working at getting better.”

Bullock also boasts a dominant statline to accompany his vocal guidance as a leader of the young team. His 11.3 points per game in league is complemented by 3.2 assists per game, placing him fifth in MCAL as of press time.

“He has very good vision when he’s under control. He sees the floor and he’s a great finisher,” Compagno said.

A naturally unselfish player, Bullock possesses the mindset of a traditional point guard while also recognizing the importance of his role as a scorer.

“I like to drive and dish a lot. I like getting my teammates open,” Bullock said. “When their confidence is up, we play better. But also, I have to score to keep the defense occupied with me.”

At 6-3, the Giants have suffered three very close losses to San Marin, Marin Catholic, and Drake. While these slim margins of defeat offer hope for the Giants’ postseason ambitions, they also raise questions about Redwood’s ability to compete under pressure.

Against San Marin, the Giants blew a late eight-point lead and struggled in the final seconds with questionable shot selection. When facing rival Marin Catholic, they were unable to stop forward Charlie Duysen as he scorched the Redwood defense for 27 points and 11 rebounds. And, despite an incredible effort through three and a half quarters against Drake’s powerhouse offense, the Giants’ defense crumbled in the final minutes, allowing open perimeter shots in their most recent gut-wrenching loss.

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If Redwood wants to attempt any serious run at a pennant this season, Bullock and his teammates will need to reverse this late-game trend. With fellow guard Mike Sullivan sidelined due to an ankle injury, even more weight will fall on Bullock’s shoulders to carry the team.

Although he may not be taking the last shot in crunch time, Bullock will most likely be involved in some self-sacrificing fashion, passing or setting up others as the floor general—relinquishing baskets for the respect of his teammates.