Boys’ varsity basketball defeats Tam 59-51 in heated ‘RespecT’ rivalry game

Arjun Aujla

On Saturday, Jan. 21, the boys’ varsity basketball team defeated the Tamalpais Red-Tailed Hawks by a final score of 59-51. The interdistrict “RespecT” rivalry game had a very energetic atmosphere with large student sections on both sides. Jake Vasquez led the Giants with a double-double consisting of 18 points and 11 rebounds. Ains Fish finished with 16 points and eight rebounds followed by Gil Ladetzky’s seven points and three steals. The Giants went into the game expecting a competitive environment and were ready for a hard fought game. 

Ains Fish flexes to celebrate Gil Ladetzky’s “and one” layup.

“We knew exactly what their game plan was. They were going to come out with a big crowd and they were going to give a big punch. We were prepared and we took that punch and did what we do, make our shots, push the ball and play good defense,” Vasquez said.

For the majority of the first half, the game was neck and neck. Both teams traded scores and were playing very aggressively. The Giants dominated the glass, bringing down several offensive rebounds to give them second chance scoring opportunities. The Giants ended the first half up 29-21.

“Our coach preaches that when those three point shots aren’t falling, [we have to] go to the rack. Get those offensive rebounds, get those easy points and once you see the ball go through, then go back to the three pointer,” Vasquez said.

After taking a hit to the nose, Brady Weingart shows his toughness and knocks down two free throws.

The Giants came out hot in the second half and gained a 15 point lead. Led by aggressive defense from point guards Johan Swildens and Jacob Friedman, the Giants were able to play at their fast pace and score in transition. Nearing the last five minutes of the game, Tam went on a run.. The Giants’ defense began to let up points and the offense struggled leading to multiple turnovers. In response, Vasquez took over, going on a run of his own to maintain the lead and close out the game. 

“Teams are getting up on us and trying to make us turn the ball over, so the biggest thing in practice for us is working on handling the ball and once we get that turnover problem fixed, I would be very scared of us in the long run,” Friedman said.

The Giants will take on the San Rafael Bulldogs next on Jan. 24 at the Phil Roark Gymnasium.