Boys’ basketball stays undefeated in MCAL play after dominating Archie Williams

Arjun Aujla

Jake Vasquez calls a play for the offense to run.

On Thursday, Jan. 5, the varsity boys’ basketball team defeated interdistrict rival, Archie Williams, with a score of 69-39. The Giants were without starting forward Ainsworth Fish, due to injury. Without Fish in the lineup, the Giants played “small ball” for the majority of the game which led to a fast pace game with a lot of transition layups. Junior point guard, Jake Vasquez, led the team with 19 points, seven assists and 11 rebounds. Over winter break, the Giants participated in the Classic at Damien, a prestigious high school basketball tournament in Southern California. Vasquez averaged 23.5 points, six rebounds and 3.5 assists over four games so it was no surprise he continued his strong play. Senior Johan Swildens finished with 14 points followed by nine points from junior Gil Ladetzky.

Johan Swildens drives aggressively for a layup.

The Falcons started the game with high energy in the first quarter and quickly sprung up to a 14-8 lead after quick scores from junior Owen Bugas. However, the giants were able to adjust to Archie’s style of play and finished the first quarter up 18-16. 

Focusing on the hoop, Johan Swildens prepares for his free-throw.

“We knew [Archie] was going to come out with a big punch making some shots so we were ready for that and we came back and kept our train moving,” Vasquez said.

After a shaky start, the Giants came out playing aggressive defense and firing on all cylinders in the second quarter. They entered halftime with a 36-20 lead only letting up four points in the entire quarter. Senior Jacob Friedman knocked down two three-pointers to increase the lead and spoke on the defensive mentality coach Jay Demaestri preaches.

BJ Fisher steps into a three-pointer.

“The biggest thing with [the team] is defense, like our coach says every single practice, ‘Defense first, offense second.’ When we play our defense we are hard to beat. Our offense will come, we have shooters that can finish but it’s our defense that wins us most of our games,” Friedman said.

After halftime, the Giants came out with the same defensive intensity and were able to score off of Archie Williams’ turnovers. Starting point guard, Swildens led the Giants third quarter charge and was able to finish many contested layups in the quarter. Vasquez along with junior BJ Fisher also played well in the third quarter knocking down jump shots and playing strong defense. It was a strong showing from the team as a whole, with each player contributing their part.

“Everyone knows their role on the team. I’m always trying to get everyone shots and when everyone gets involved that’s when we are able to blow teams out,” Vasquez said.

Jake Vasquez gets by his defender and drives to the hoop.

The fourth quarter went similarly to the previous two quarters and when the clocks hit zero the final score was 69-39 in favor of the Giants. The boys remain undefeated in Marin County Athletic League (MCAL) play and take on the Terra Linda Trojans on Saturday, Jan. 7.