Freshman White Boys’ Basketball Takes Down McNeil 42-38

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  • Eshaan Gulia ’22 dribbles the ball as two opponents attempt to block him.

  • Evan Dunn ’22 looks for an opening to avoid the opponent.

  • Viswaved Uppala ’22 blocks a McNeil player.

  • The team plans their strategy during a time out.

  • Eshaan Gulia ’22 attempts to catch the ball.

  • Eshaan Gulia ’22 battles against an opponent for the ball.

  • Nathan Fang ’22 shoots a basket.

  • Nathan Fang ’22 and Eshaan Gulia ’22 prepare to catch the ball after the opponent failed to score.

  • Viswaved Uppala ’22 catches the pass from his teammate.

  • Nathan Fang ’22 shoots a free throw.

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On Friday, Jan. 25, the freshman white boys’ basketball team played against the McNeil Mavericks, narrowly defeating them 42-38 after an intense game with many strong plays.

The game started strong, with Nathan Fang ’22 consistently sinking his free throws and the Warriors having incredibly quick thinking and movement. The teams were neck-and-neck near the beginning, neither side allowing the other to get ahead. Finally, Varun Ramesh ’22 leaped up to intercept a pass from the Mavericks and tie the score 17-17. A layup by Derian Mantia ’22 allowed the Warriors to pull ahead, and they were able to maintain their lead, ending the first quarter 22-17.

“I think clearing up our offense and coming back to win was the [best part],” Vishwaved Uppala ‘23 said. “I think it’s important that we all communicate and work together as a team because that’s how we win.”

The second quarter began with neither team able to get an edge. Damon Dawson ’22 ended that by making a three-pointer, letting the Warriors gain confidence to pull ahead. The early lead caused the Mavericks to get sloppy, fouling some players and playing very forcefully. Fortunately, the Warriors were able to keep their cool and continue to play. The opposing side had a hard time catching the ball, as the Westwood players were quick on their feet and used the entire court to their advantage. They passed the ball frequently and communicated well, constantly keeping the McNeil players on their toes.

“Our intensity was the best part of this game,” Tal Bach ‘22 said. “I learned to slow it down and play stronger. It’s important to play good defense.”

The Warriors kept their lead up through the third quarter, and made it to the fourth by continuing to stay ahead. When the score was 39-37, a timeout was called, and everyone watched with apprehension as the players grappled for the ball. Evan Dunn ’22 scored the final shot, a three-pointer that ended the game 42-38.

“The end was the best part,” Coach Jacob Beaty said. “The beginning was a little shaky at first, but we pulled it together, we cleaned it up, and we had a good strong finish. We had a lot of players step up and play big time.”

The team will play their next game on Feb. 1 against the Vandegrift Vipers at Vandegrift High School.