Boys’ Hoops Falls to Salesian in NCS Title Rematch

Madeleine Singh and Layla Wright

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Boys’ varsity basketball fell to Salesian High School 67-53 in the North Coast Section Division III tournament final at St. Mary’s College on March 3.

2018 marks the 2nd consecutive year that the Cougars have been  defeated by Salesian in the title game.

Head coach Steven Dyer was able to point out some positives about his squad in spite of the loss. “We’re really happy with our guys in terms of how they competed. Obviously we wish the result could have been a little bit different but you know, really happy with our guys,” he said.

According to his players, the Cougars struggled to defend agains the Pride. “We just gotta keep focusing on rebounds and keep playing with the same intensity, play hard defense and have energy,” said junior David Ahazie, who was responsible for a team-leading 19 points. Senior Trevin Kroichick was right behind Ahazie, earning 15 points out of the team’s 53.

Dyer noted the disparity between the physical attributes of the 2 teams. “We competed hard, we’re just always limited in terms of our size so that kind of hurt us today,” he said, referring to Salesian’s 6-foot-7, 260-pound sophomore, Te’Jon Sawyer.

Kroichick said the team will continue to work on its weaknesses.  Campolindo hopes to advance onto the CIF NorCal tournament. “I mean, I think we gotta guard inside on the post a little bit better, that big guy [Sawyer] killed us,” he said.  “Yeah, I think defense is gonna be the key. We played fine offensively, but we just didn’t make enough plays on defense.”

Although the boys were disappointed with the outcome, most felt satisfied with their effort. “We came out with the same energy that we did with any other team,” said Ahazie.

Sophomore Rex Curtiss said he and other players on the bench encouraged their teammates on the court.. “The bench, we were lit. You know, I was on there most of the game,” said Curtiss. “We tried to get our players hyped the whole time. They played hard the whole game, but we couldn’t get it done. We came here for a dub, but it’s alright.”

Due to the structure of the NCS tournament, with 5 divisions, it is likely that the Cougars will be awarded a berth in the NorCal tournament. “So far, the season’s been great, and we look to continue into NorCals,” added Dyer.

“We definitely made a lot of strides,” said Kroichick. “Last year, we lost 2 All-League guys, and Hunter [Clarke] leaving was obviously tough. We played a really hard schedule this year and for the most part we did really well”

“I’m definitely confident in a lot of the sophomores and juniors we’ve got. [The team] will be really good in the future,” said Kroichick.

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