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Warriors Double Up McNeil in 46-23 Rout

Brandon Parks drives to the hoop by Jinhong Liu
Brandon Parks drives to the hoop by Jinhong Liu

Varsity Boys' Basketball Doubles Up McNeil in 46-23 Rout

By Sourav Dhar, Reporter
January 26, 2019

Horizon Story Here

The varsity boys' basketball team had revenge on their minds as their fierce rivals, the McNeil Mavericks, came to town on Friday, Jan. 25. Earlier in the season, the Warriors suffered a devastating loss against the Mavericks on the road, and the memory of the loss to their district rivals was still fresh in the team's mind.

The Warriors came to play in the rematch in front of a raucous crowd. Led by 14 points from Heston Williams , the home team blew the Mavericks out of the water, scoring twice as many points as McNeil in a whopping 46-23 demolition. Patrick Sladek added five points, while Ethan Brown and Christian Robinson contributed four points apiece. Eleven different Warriors were able to get on the scoresheet in the game. The Warriors' defense was outstanding, as the team didn't allow the visiting Mavericks to have any open shots for the vast majority of the night, while also causing havoc for the McNeil offense, forcing many turnovers.

"[The last result] definitely [motivated us], we knew this was a must win game. Especially due to the fact it was a home game, we weren't going to take an L on our own court," Santi Campos said.

An easy layup from Robinson opened the scoring for the Warriors as the game began, with both teams playing exceptional defense for the majority of the quarter; both sides combined to score only 15 points. Coach Brad Hastings was also able to showcase the Warriors, playing 11 different players in the first quarter alone. A Brown layup beat the first quarter buzzer, putting the Warriors on top after one frame of play, 9-6.

The second quarter followed the trend of a physical, defensive, back-and-forth battle between the two sides until Williams went off late in the quarter, effectively causing the Warriors to start to pull away. With the score being 15-11 in favor of the Warriors, Williams rattled off nine straight points by himself, courtesy of three straight three-pointers, including a buzzer-beater that increased the lead to 13, which sent the home crowd into a frenzy as both sides went into their respective locker rooms. The fired-up Warriors held the advantage at the half, leading 24-11.

The Warriors' momentum carried over into the second half, as the home side were able to maintain their lead despite the Mavericks attempting to get back into the game. The Mavericks were able to earn more trips to the free throw line than the Warriors throughout the game, but weren't able to convert many of them, thanks to the home crowd staying loud and rowdy throughout the duration of the game. As a result, the visitors couldn't shorten the Warriors' lead as time expired in the third quarter. The Warriors led by a score of 34-21 heading into the last frame of action.

"The crowd really showed out tonight; being that it was middle school night helped out a lot, but our student section was just as confident as the players were," Corey Levinson said. "The atmosphere was rocking and I think our team handled the momentum perfectly."

A quick Levinson three-pointer opened the fourth quarter, where the Warriors' dominant defense was on display over the course of the last eight minutes of action. The Warriors held the Mavericks to only two points, as the team constantly gave McNeil a hard time putting the ball in the basket.

"We played almost the entire game in 2-3, which was new for us. We knew that they were bigger than us so we had to emphasize rebounds and points in the paint from a defensive standpoint," Sladek said. "They shot a low percentage from three and we beat them on the boards so it worked out in the end."

Conversely, the Warriors had no trouble at all on offense, seemingly scoring at will against their district rivals. An easy layup from Campos made the lead the largest it had been all game, 23 points. When the final buzzer sounded, the team had won by a comfortable margin, thoroughly drubbing the visiting Mavericks. The Warriors earned an emphatic win, with a scoreline of 46-23.

The Warriors will be set on keeping the recent hot streak going, as their next match will be away from home against Vandegrift on Friday, Feb. 1.