Sports: Boys Basketball Claims Victory Over the Sequoia Cherokees
The Bears took on the Sequoia Cherokees on Friday night for their second league game, and came out victorious after a close-fought first half. The Bears came out strong in the second half of the game to secure the win, 60-39.
Although the Cherokees gained the first possession of the ball, senior Oliver Bucka was first to score from the post. The Cherokees responded by hitting a three, followed by a three pointer from the Bears’ senior Royce Branning. Sophomore Skyler Lautalo put in a basket quickly after, followed by a steal from senior Ryan Roberts which Branning then converted into a layup down the court, tying the game 9-9.
Both teams came out with strong defense in the second quarter, preventing any scoring in the first three minutes of play until Branning hit a three pointer. The quarter remained low scoring for both teams as they battled to get any shots off. The Bears began to capitalize on their transitions, with both Bucka and Roberts scoring layups. Bucka made a final basket for the quarter as the teams headed into half time, 18-14 M-A.
The Cherokees came out determined to start off the third quarter, and they quickly tied up the game. However, the Bears seemed to come to life at this time as their shots began to fall. Branning hit a three to take the lead again, and senior Markus Guegler followed with an aggressive drive to the hoop for a layup. After a missed shot, Bucka dived out of bounds to save the ball, which went to Branning for another three pointer. Senior Brian Keare continued the battle, going up for a shot, making the basket as well as the and-one free throw.
Later in the quarter, senior Deverick Meacham grabbed the rebound from a three point attempt by Callahan and dunked the ball, causing such excitement that his own teammates on the bench accidentally stepped onto the court, earning a technical foul. The cheering continued as Callahan hit two more threes and Roberts had a steal and a layup. Guegler ended the astounding third quarter with a buzzer-beating layup after earning a steal, putting the bears up 41-24.
Callahan hit yet another three pointer to begin the fourth quarter, followed by two free throws each by Guegler and Keare. Bucka, Roberts and junior Whittaker Jellins each contributed a basket. Senior Paul Iwashita added a free throw at the end of the quarter, as well as junior Ryan Cole contributing five more points. The Bears dominated the second half of the game to take the win, 60-39.
Bucka commented on the game, saying, “In the second half we picked it up; our defense fueled our offense, and we started hitting outside shots.”
He stated that the team did a specifically good job with “Our patience on offense and unselfishness with passing the ball.” Coach Molieri added that the “guards did a better job of dribble penetration and kick-outs,” and the “posts did a better job looking for the ball and being patient for better shots.”
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The Bears take on Mill High School next Wednesday at 6 pm for their first away league game.