Vasquez, Swildens fly high in 61-43 win over Marin Catholic

A packed student section watches Jake Vasquez prepare to shoot a free throw.

On Tuesday, Jan. 31, the boys’ basketball team defeated archrival Marin Catholic by a final score of 61-43. Phil Roark Gymnasium saw its highest attendance so far this season in anticipation for the rivalry game, after their previous meeting ended with a Giants’ win in an electrifyingly back and forth game. Approaching the Marin County Athletic League (MCAL) playoffs, each game has huge seeding implications. The Giants came into the game focused and did not waver once, maintaining a handsome lead, and making swift work of the Wildcats. Jake Vasquez led the Giants with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Brady Weingart finished with 11 points followed by Johan Swildens’ nine points.

The first half was mostly defensive and saw both teams struggle on offense. The Giants’ struggled with making their three-point shots but found success driving to the basket and drawing fouls. Vasquez was fouled on three-pointers twice which helped the Giants grow their lead. As the half progressed, Swildens started to get into a groove and was able to create opportunities for his teammates by driving to the basket and passing the ball to the perimeter for some wide open three-point opportunities. 

“I’ve been playing for a long time so it’s not really a zone, it’s just when I get my opportunities I take them,” Swildens said.

The Giants came out firing in the second half. They found their groove offensively and were able to expose Marin Catholic’s weaknesses. They used their size to their advantage and knocked down shots when necessary. 

Shooting a free throw, Ains Fish grows the Giants’ lead.

“We really took advantage of our size advantage, we got the ball down low and we made our threes,” Weingart said.

By the start of the fourth quarter, the Giants had a sizable lead that had no signs of wavering. Weingart helped put away the game, knocking down a dagger three-pointer.

“We didn’t let their star players get the ball and [make plays] for their team. Brady Weingart was out there getting his money, and being a bucket,” Swildens said.

The Giants take on the Novato Hornets next on Feb. 2 followed by the Branson Bulls on Feb. 4 for Senior Night. As the Bulls handed the Giants their only MCAL loss this season, the team looks forward to showing who they truly are.

“It’s all about mentality. We know what the game plan is going to be. We have to lock up, get some points and win that game,” Weingart said.