Boys Basketball Eliminated in Second Round of Tournament

Vera Targoff, Managing Editor

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The boys varsity basketball team suffered a heartbreaking 60-53 loss on March 3rd to the Central Catholic Raiders in the second round of the state tournament, after a first-round victory against Everett High School. The game was packed, with the line to get in stretching through the entire parking lot of Central Catholic High School.

At the start, neither team could seem to score, and the two teams were tied at 5-5 until Cambridge pulled ahead. With 2-and-a-half minutes left in the first quarter, the Falcons were up 12-5. However, the Raiders caught back up, and with 8 seconds left in the 1st quarter, the game was tied again, this time at 12-12.

The score stayed low through the second quarter, but the energy of the gym was high. After every play, there were huge cheers from fans. Each side of the gym seemed to feed off of the energy of the other, trying to be louder than their opponent’s fans. At halftime, Central Catholic was up 21-20.  

The 3rd quarter was damaging to the Falcons, as they let the Raiders advance to an 8-point lead. Although they managed to keep the scoring even afterwards, it wasn’t enough to catch up. At the end of the 3rd, the Falcons were down 39-32.

The 4th quarter drew explosive energy from both sides of the gym, to a somewhat aggressive extent on the Central Catholic side. The Raiders fans started jeering at CRLS players by name, and whenever a Falcon would get close to their fan section, they would scream at them. The CRLS fan section was a bit more positive, chanting “We want Leon,” a reference to junior Leon Williams who wasn’t getting as much playing time as the CRLS fans had hoped. The scoring was even, but the Raiders were consistently a few points ahead of the Falcons, and the Falcons couldn’t catch up. It got close at the end, but as time ran out, CRLS had to keep drawing fouls to stop the clock. Central Catholic didn’t miss when it came to free throws. The game ended with a score of 60-53.

Junior center Khai Smith commented on the loss, saying that the team needed to have “better focus and block out the crowd,” when thinking about what could have been done differently. He remains hopeful for next year though, saying the team “will all have the right mindset.”

Another championship is the main goal for Smith and the rest of the team. “I promise you we will have the state chip for Cambridge [next year],” Smith said. “I want to do it all over again from freshman year.”

 

This piece also appears in our March 2019 print edition.