JV Boys’ Basketball Falls to Hendrickson 61-57

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The JV boys’ basketball team failed to defend their home court on Tuesday, Dec. 4, against Hendrickson, with a final score of 57-61. While it was a very close game, Hendrickson’s brute strength overwhelmed the Warriors, leading to a very intense game.

In the first quarter, the Warriors took off and scored the game’s first points. However, their defense quickly fell apart, which led to Hendrickson quickly catching up to them and advancing with nearly double the points of the Warriors. A three-point shot from Quinn Farquharson ‘20 reminded their opponent that they are a force to be reckoned with. More steals from both sides and three-pointers from both teams led to the quarter finishing with a score of 15-14 in the Warrior’s favor.

“What I love about Westwood basketball is that we always play hard, and we play smarter, ’cause we’re a pretty smart school academically,” Samer Salman ‘21 said. “Today, we came out pretty bad; we didn’t play harder in the beginning, and I think that’s what got us.”

Hendrickson immediately took the lead in the beginning of the second quarter, and became much more aggressive. This surprised the Warriors, and led to them falling behind by a massive amount of points. They began to gain their morale back after a steal by Luca Cipleu ‘21 and a three-point shot from Arjun Seth ‘21. The Warriors quickly caught back up and eventually stole the lead back. With two and three-point shots from Salman, Cipleu, Eric Kipper ‘21, and Farquharson, the team zoomed way ahead and once again showed Hendrickson what they’re made of. Hendrickson retaliated and managed to come on top at the conclusion of the quarter, ending the first half of the game with a score of 26-30.

“We started out a bit slow first quarter, and we weren’t getting back on defense as well as we’d like,” Lucian Tripon ‘21 said. “But then we picked it up and got on a roll. At one point, we led by ten. At halftime, we were down by four, but we still had the momentum.”

The second half of the game opened up with the first points being scored by Salman, followed by a two-point shot from Anish Maddipoti ‘20. Hendrickson also came out swinging, making a three-point shot as well as the occasional two-pointer. Maddipoti retaliated with another two-pointer, and Fenix Wiles ‘20 scored similarly as well. Some free throws put Hendrickson in the lead again, but the Warriors caught up with free throws of their own. The score became tied, but it didn’t stay that way for long, as more free throws placed Hendrickson in the lead once again, ending the third quarter with a score of 41-43. These free throws would serve as an omen for the game’s bleak outcome.

“In the third quarter, we put our heads down, and it was bad,” Salman said. “We could improve by keeping up the intensity the whole game.”

The game’s final quarter began badly for the Warriors, as Hendrickson quickly got ahead and gained a massive advantage over their opponents. Despite several two-point shots from Seth, Tripon, and Jake Lacey ‘20, the Warriors were still behind, and Hendrickson was gaining points at a very fast pace. A two-pointer from Wiles placed the team just one mere point behind their opponents, but it was futile. Hendrickson continued scoring, and their incredibly strong defense made it almost impossible for the Warriors to score any more points. The rest of the points the Warriors earned were from free throws, and this alone wasn’t able to grant them the sufficient amount of points they would need for victory. The game came to a glum end with a score of 57-61, a very close loss for the Warriors.

“We started having some bad mistakes, and we were missing shots,” Coach Lawrence Abt said. “I guess the team was feeling a little down. In that fourth quarter, we had to fight back. These guys are big. Hopefully we can learn from these mistakes, and next time we meet Hendrickson, we’ll get the win.”

The Warriors will face the Vista Ridge Rangers away from home on Friday, Dec. 7.