Boys’ varsity basketball pulls away in fourth quarter, avoids late-game scare

Adam Kreitzman

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With five minutes left to go in the fourth quarter, junior Charlie Reis jumped up into a crowd of Bulldog defenders and laid the ball against the backboard, knocking down a contested layup to tie the game at 46. After that moment, the Giants played with newfound intensity, outscoring San Rafael 14-7 in the last five minutes to earn a hard-fought 60-53 victory.

Junior Charlie Reis makes a contested layup to tie the game at 46.

Junior Charlie Reis makes a contested layup to tie the game at 46.

“It was huge,” said head coach Steve Compagno. “[Reis’ basket] turned the tide of the game.”

The Giants came out blazing Tuesday night, as two early three-pointers by junior Jordan Jackson helped fuel a 10-0 run by Redwood to start the game. The success was short-lived, however, as Redwood’s defensive lapses allowed the Bulldogs to score easily and remain close until the very end.

A weak third quarter enabled San Rafael to claw back into the game, as it outscored Redwood 20-13.

The team must play with more energy throughout the whole game if it wants to compete against upper-echelon MCAL teams, said senior guard Nick Laub.

“We tend to get out to strong starts, but then we calm down on offense and allow other teams to catch up,” Laub said. “That won’t work against teams like Drake and Marin Catholic.”

Senior guard Michael Sullivan once again led the Giants offensively with 21 points on 58 percent shooting. Sullivan contributed defensively as well, racking up 10 rebounds.

Junior Alex Wilson shoots the ball over San Rafael defender Isaiah Usher

Junior Alex Wilson shoots the ball over San Rafael defender Isaiah Usher

“He’s a leader on and off the court,” Laub said. “He keeps us together as a team.”

Ultimately, Redwood’s ability to draw fouls and get to the free-throw line proved to be a difference-maker in the game. The Giants made 15 free throws compared to the Bulldogs’ eight.

Additionally, Redwood’s control of the boards helped seal the victory, as the Giants outrebounded San Rafael by 18.

The win brings Redwood to 8-3 in league play, giving them the same record as rival Marin Catholic. The Giants will play their next game at Novato (0-11) on Friday.