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Redwood Bark

Photo Essay: Redwood boys’ basketball suffers blowout loss in MCAL championship

Redwood’s two games vs. the Branson Bulls at Dick Hart Court were eerily similar. The Giants went out to an early lead, albeit only a few minutes, and then stalled out and let the Bulls go up big. In the first matchup, the Giants’ lackluster shooting killed them; tonight, their turnovers and inability to protect the rim did them in. With a Marin County Athletic League (MCAL) championship at stake, the Giants suffered their biggest loss of the year. 

From the first minute, Branson played a full-court press, giving the Giants fits all night long. In the second quarter alone, the Bulls forced seven Giants turnovers, converting them into easy layups and powering a 24-point quarter. Going into the half, Branson led 39-24 and would not stop from there. Things began to spiral in the third quarter, with the Giants missing four three-pointers in the first few minutes, as well as giving up easy buckets on the other end. No Giant was able to stop Branson senior Jase Butler, who ended the game with 21 points, with the majority of his work done inside the paint. The raucous Redwood crowd, donning all black, grew quiet as the Branson lead grew to 61-30. 

With the game out of reach, the Giants finally found shots falling offensively. Senior Jake Vasquez continued his incredible season, scoring 24 points, with 22 of them coming late in the second half. 

Early in the first half, the Giants were able to stick with the Bulls on the back of junior Brennan Woodley. Attacking the rim fiercely and finishing strong, he kept the Giants in it with seven early points. Senior Gil Ladetzky got the crowd on its feet as well, knocking down back-to-back threes, bringing the Branson lead to just two in the early second quarter. 

From there, the Bulls never took their foot off the accelerator, sustaining a 44-15 run over the next 15 minutes. With the Branson lead reaching 30 points at the end of the third quarter, disappointed fans began to pile out of the stadium. The Bulls were having fun all fourth quarter, keeping their starters on the court until just three minutes left. The dagger came on a towering alley-oop from Branson senior Finley Keefe, sending the Bulls crowd into mayhem and the Giants into shock. Branson cruised to victory, winning the MCAL championship 82-53. 

Redwood now awaits to be seeded in the North Coast Section tournament. 

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About the Contributor
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.