Friedman finishes with career high as Giants cruise by Jesse Bethel 68-30

Arjun Aujla

The bench celebrates a three-pointer from Friedman.

On Wednesday, Feb. 15, the boys’ varsity basketball team beat the Jesse Bethel Jaguars 68-30 in the first round of the North Coast Section (NCS) playoffs. The Giants were awarded the number two seed and are determined to keep their success going, especially after facing a heartbreaking loss in overtime in the Marin County Athletic League (MCAL) championship game against Branson. Although the boys were disappointed with the loss, they know that they have the opportunity to accomplish something even bigger by capturing the NCS title. 

“Last year, the Benicia loss in NCS really sat with us, especially [with] the returners. That’s a feeling that I and the rest of the returners don’t want to feel again so we brought the energy today and need to keep that going,” senior Jacob Friedman said.

Their focus was evident in this game. Jacob Friedman led the team with a career high 22 points going 4-4 from behind the arch. Ains Fish finished with 13 points and eight assists followed by Gil Ladetzky’s eight points and five rebounds.

Jake Vasquez drives to the hoop.

The Giants came out of the gates strong and did not let up. Friedman had an instinct impact once he checked in. His impressive agility gave a boost to the defense and his impressive shooting helped the Giants grow their lead. 

“I have just been trusting the work I have been putting in all summer and all fall. We have all worked hard for this moment. When you’re in the zone, you’re locked in not only defensively and offensively, but you let everything come to you and you don’t force anything,” Friedman said.

As a team, the Giants were able to keep Bethel out of the paint, forcing forced the Jaguars to shoot low-percentage shots. The Giants went into halftime leading 36-13 and continued their strong play in the second half. Friedman continued to knock down shot after shot and the Giants prevented the Jaguars from going on any type of run. The team’s energy was also unmatched as they were celebrating each basket and encouraging their teammates.

“We had goals in the beginning of the season to win an MCAL title, [but] we fell short on that one. We just have NCS to prove that we are one of the best teams in Northern California and one of the best teams in the state. We are hungry to get that NCS title,” junior Ian Rothbart said.

The Giants will face Alameda High School in the quarterfinals of the NCS playoffs on Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Phil Roark Gymnasium.