Varsity Basketball Boys Defeat McNeil 53 – 35

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Arushi Sharma

Zach Engels ’22 runs down the court with the ball, waiting for an open player to pass to.

Ellen Chuo, Photographer

With an energetic crowd cheering from both sides of the gym, varsity boys’ basketball triumphed over McNeil 53-35 on Friday, Jan. 21. Tied with Round Rock High School for first in the district and with a 6-1  record, there is no doubt that the Warriors have been dominating the court this year. 

“As a team, we played well,” Gabe Parr ’23 said. “We traveled with our defense and brought it from our last game to this game. We kept our solid defense and our buckets eventually started to fall and we got the big win.” 

After the tip-off between Carson King ’22 at 6’6” and McNeil’s Makai Morris ’22 at 6’4” the Warriors secured the ball and brought it down the court. After an initial missed shot by the Warriors, Zack Engels ’22 was able to rebound the ball and pass it to Parr who made the Warrior’s first point and free throw of the game. The Warriors started to find their rhythm and with a strong defense they were able to end the first quarter with a 14-7 lead. 

Throughout the second quarter, the Warriors kept strong with their defense but McNeil inched closer while the Warriors lacked ball handling they normally excel in. The Warriors quickly picked back up their speed and tried to drive to the basket, but due to McNeil’s fierce defense they weren’t able to get any of their shots to fall. Three minutes into the second quarter, Engles was able to make two free throws. After a quick pass from Skye Drechsler 23’ to Brady Tomich 23’, Tomich was able to score another point for the Warriors, adding some energy to the court. Building on that energy, the Warriors were able to have more offensive success by the end of the second quarter. Working connected as a team, with many offensive and defensive successes, the Warriors ended the first half with a 24-16 lead.

“It was a slow first half,” Henry Chuo ’23 said. “We couldn’t score the ball well, but our defense gave us an eight-point lead into the third quarter.” 

The Warriors came out strong from the locker room and blew through McNeil in the third. With a new sense of fire, the Warriors were able to force turnovers and elevate their offense. Passing to Parr and King in the paint, they were able to score many points with their height advantage and help the Warriors pull away from McNeil. With a three-pointer by King and solid blocks by Engels, the Warriors energy grew with the crowd’s cheers. Drechsler shot three-pointers that pushed the game forward and strengthened the Warriors’ lead. Continuing with their strong defense and upping their offensive game, the Warriors were able to end the third quarter with a 45-20 lead. 

“I thought in the second half we really picked it back up,” Drechsler said. “I thought in the first half we were a little lackadaisical, but we came back in the second half and closed it out.” 

During the fourth quarter the Warriors lightened up a little, but due to their huge lead created in the third quarter, McNeil couldn’t get close. Even though their shots weren’t falling as well as they were earlier in the game, they didn’t let that faze them and they stayed strong with their defense. With five seconds left on the clock, McNeil  had an inbound pass stolen by Tomich who ended the game with the ball and a score of 53-35. 

“I think I had a good game,” Parr said. “I was really locked in and wanted to perform how we are supposed to perform.” 

The Varsity boys are scheduled to play their next game vs Hutto on Tuesday, Jan 25.