Boys’ varsity basketball rebounds after early season loss, crushes Marin Catholic for first win in over three years

Sam Kimball

On Thursday, Jan. 20, the boys’ varsity basketball team played in an intense battle against rival Marin Catholic (MC), finishing victorious with a 65-43 final score. The 13-5 MC Wildcats, led by star Kyle Winters, were shut out offensively throughout the night with Winters only scoring a total of eight points. After Redwood lost in a thrilling overtime game against MC 52-49 on Dec. 7, the Giants were determined to take down their rivals this time.

The game started out competitive as Redwood and MC players hit shots left and right as they ran up and down the court. Senior Charlie Treene led with six first-quarter points, sophomore Jake Vasquez knocked down a critical three and junior Ains Fish put Redwood up 18-17 after the first quarter with a second shot of his own.

Standing for the national anthem, the Redwood boys’ varsity basketball team prepares for the game ahead.

Having both missed the last game versus MC due to injury, regaining Treene and Fish was crucial to the team. Junior Brady Weingart recognizes their influence both offensively and defensively.

“Fish and Treene are our keys to the game and it was great having them back,” Weingart said. “Whenever they are on the court, they are going to touch the ball a lot and block a lot of shots which changes the entire rhythm of the game.”

Junior Jacob Friedman shares a similar feeling as Weingart and claimed that this win will help the team move forward from their previous loss.

“We came into today with [Treene and Fish] who had not played in the last game against MC. They were the most important aspects and impacted the game from whistle to whistle,” Friedman said. “We needed to put the last game in the past and move forward as a team.”

As the second quarter began, Redwood jumped to a quick lead, increasing the pressure for MC to remain in the game. Junior MC player J.R. Bosch picked up his third foul at the halfway mark of the quarter, sending him to the bench. Weingart then knocked down shot after shot bringing Redwood’s total to 30. The MC offense remained quiet, missing many of their shots from behind the arc, while Treene brought energy to the bench after throwing down a dunk towards the end of the quarter.

Treene believes that the energy and enthusiasm aspect of basketball is often overlooked and is critical for the overall game. If the team does not play as a team, the game is unlikely to result in a win.

“Our coaches always say that we are a 14 man team and that everyone needs to bring the energy,” Treene said. “We definitely did that today with the bench keeping the energy high and it helped us play hard and play together.”

At the half, Redwood led 38-24 and gathered in the locker room feeling confident that they could keep up the momentum.

Junior Gavin Edelen acknowledged the importance of continuing to play hard throughout the game even while in the lead.

“We came out strong just like the last game against MC and led by the same margin, but the difference today was that we knew we had to keep our foot on the gas and not let up,” Edelen said. “We had to work as a team and play as a team in the second half in order to win.”

Preparing to pass, Charlie Treene looks for an opening in the second quarter.

The second half of the game began similarly to how the first half ended; more baskets by Treene and offensive plays by Vasquez. Midway into the third quarter, a couple of steals by MC’s Declan Ochoa led to a Redwood timeout, allowing the team to regroup. However, their lead was still intact and Redwood’s momentum had not dwindled away. Following the timeout, more Redwood baskets were made, extending the score to 54-35 as the end of the third quarter approached.

Weingart said that Redwood’s key to the game was slowing down Winters, who averages a team high in points and in many other offensive categories. In addition, Winters’ passing ability makes him an assist threat.

“We knew that the less shots that Winters took, the better chance we had to win the game,” Weingart said. “We tried to take him away and sent a double [team] at him a couple of times which seemed to [play a role in the win].”

Redwood’s defense continued the strong play throughout the fourth quarter, limiting Winters to two points and the team to only eight. Fish opened up the quarter with a block that sent the bench into a blizzard of joy, and Weingart led the team on the other end of the court scoring six points. As the buzzer sounded, the Giants had beaten MC for the first time since January 2019 with a final score of 65-43. 

Redwood will continue their season, battling San Marin in Novato tonight, Saturday, Jan. 22 at 6 p.m.