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Redwood Bark

Redwood Bark

Redwood Bark

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Game of the Month: Boys’ varsity basketball suffers excruciating loss vs. rival Marin Catholic

On Tuesday, Jan. 16, the Redwood Giants and Marin Catholic Wildcats met in a highly anticipated Marin County Athletic League (MCAL) matchup. With wins against San Rafael, Terra Linda and Clovis West, the Giants came into the matchup on a three-game win streak. However, in their game against Marin Catholic just 10 days prior, the Wildcats stunned the Giants with a victory of 67-64. 

This time around, Redwood came out of the gates firing with an and-one from senior Jake Vasquez and a three-pointer from senior Lachlan Kelly, giving the Giants an early lead. Fellow senior Gil Ladetzky was all over the glass early in the game, with three strong rebounds to secure defensive stops for the Giants. However, Marin Catholic quickly responded with a three-pointer of their own from senior Charles Williams, and a cold shooting streak from the Giants kept the Wildcats within four points at the end of the first quarter, with a score of 14-10.

Redwood’s shooting woes continued into the second quarter, missing shots from distance as well as easy layups. Numerous turnovers also plagued the Giants, culminating in a seven-minute scoring drought. Yet on the other end, Vasquez and Ladetzky remained strong on the glass, stopping the Wildcats from obtaining second chances and keeping the Giants in the ballgame. Junior Mason Garbo finally ended the scoring drought on a layup with three minutes left in the second quarter, putting Redwood ahead 16-15. As the clock wound down in the second quarter, the Wildcats’ offense found its spark, and Williams secured a tough three-point-play to give Marin Catholic a three-point lead. Yet, the Giants regained a bit of momentum right before the buzzer sounded, as junior Noah Tanaka fought inside for an offensive rebound and laid it in to bring the score to 20-19, Wildcats leading. 

Going up for a layup, senior Gil Ladetzky takes a hard foul.

The momentum from the Giants carried into the second half. Senior Bjorn Ryning knocked down three free throws, junior Brennan Woodley drained a three-pointer, and Vasquez sank a jump shot to start the quarter on an 8-0 scoring run. Defensively, the Giants sat in a “matchup 2-3 zone,” forcing the Wildcats to take outside shots while prioritizing inside defense. However, the Wildcats exploited this defense perfectly, as sophomore Joseph Hammond attacked the middle of the zone, making multiple floaters and later finding Williams for an open three-pointer. 

Things began to get intense after Williams took a questionable charge call to Vasquez, and then Garbo fouled Williams hard on the next play. The student section for both schools were rowdy and engaged all night long but became especially loud as the game continued on. Redwood countered the Wildcats’ scoring run with multiple nice offensive possessions of their own; senior BJ Fisher and Garbo both got to the paint and finished on reverse layups, taking advantage of Marin Catholic’s over-aggressive rim protection and ended the third quarter with a lead of 32-31. 

With such a highly defensive game up to this point, the floodgates finally opened in the fourth quarter. Garbo grabbed a rebound and found Vasquez in transition for a finish at the rim before Woodley made a layup of his own to put the Giants up 40-37. In the final minutes of the fourth quarter, Woodley and Williams took the game over, going back and forth and draining a total of four consecutive three-pointers. Redwood’s lead sat at 46-45 with 15 seconds left, with Garbo at the line after being intentionally fouled. Both of Garbo’s free throws rimmed out, but Fisher fought hard for an offensive rebound, eventually sending Ladetzky to the line. Ladetzky drilled both free throws, seemingly ending the Wildcats’ night; however, sophomore Henry Dibble had other plans. Dibble came off two screens and heaved up a contested three-pointer as time expired. The shot hit nothing but net and sent the game to overtime, tied 48-48.

Holding the ball high, Brennan Woodley shoots a mid-range jumper.

Garbo’s strong night continued into overtime, starting the period off with an inside finish. The Wildcats responded, capitalizing on a defensive miscommunication by the Giants and found Hammond for a wide-open three-pointer. Things then started to spiral, with a travel by Woodley, a missed three-pointer by Ladetzky and then a foul on the Giants leading to two made free throws by the Wildcats, giving them a 55-51 lead. Yet, the Giants’ leading scorer, Vasquez, responded with a firm take to the rim before getting fouled. After nailing both free throws, the deficit sat at two points with 36 seconds remaining. Senior Ian Rothbart saved the day for the Giants, deflecting a pass, leading to a loose ball that the Giants recovered before calling a timeout to set up one final offensive possession. Once again, the ball was in Vasquez’s hands, who dribbled towards the paint before going up for a shot and earning a foul call. With the whole gymnasium on its feet, Vasquez sank both free throws, seemingly sending the game into a second overtime. However, once again, the Wildcats had different plans. Hammond brought the ball up the right side of the court, heaving a shot from well beyond the three-point arc. The shot fell, and Marin Catholic defeated Redwood 58-55. 

Williams led all scorers with 24 points, and Vasquez led the Giants with 16 points. Woodley followed up with 12 points, and Garbo had 9. In a season full of ups and downs, the Giants fall to .500, with 11 wins and 11 losses. However, the tough competition they have played puts them in a good position for a postseason run in both the MCAL and NCS playoffs. The Giants return next in an away match against Novato on Jan. 19.

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About the Contributors
Matthew Knauer
Matthew Knauer, Sports Editor
Matthew Knauer is a junior at Redwood High School and is a sports editor for the bark. He enjoys playing baseball, surfing, and hanging out with friends.
Sean Cunneen
Sean Cunneen, Tech Manager
Sean is a junior at Redwood High School and the tech manager for the Bark. He enjoys competing in football, listening to music, and hanging out with friends.