With league play well underway, the mens varsity basketball team shoots their way to wins.
Despite the addition of many new varsity players, the boys work as hard as ever to make this a successful season. The team is led by seniors Darrin Nishi, Zack Suarez, Matt Laffey and Kyler Joaquin.
Although their primary goal is winning, the boys also make the time to come together as a team. Prior to the start of every game, one of the captains leads the boys in the traditional “No Lie” chant, which the boys claim riles them up to play.
“We are a good group together because we have all been in the program for years and have developed chemistry and acceptance of one another,” said junior Noah Schneiderman. “From freshman to senior, we all help each other play better.”
As with any team, the players admit there is room for improvement. Senior Matt Laffey said, “One of our strengths is the athleticism of the guys, but I think we need to work on holding the score toward the end of the game and not letting teams come back as often.”
Winning against teams like Laguna Creek, El Dorado, McClatchy the Raider team shapes up to better their record, still hoping to make it to playoffs.
“The highlight of our season so far was beating Laguna Creek because we shut down one of the top players in the nation,” said Schneiderman. “And Kyler dunked which always makes it a fun game.”
In a rivalrous league opening game against the El Camino Eagles, the Raiders lost by a single point. After launching into double overtime, the controversial game ended 74-73.
The Raiders held onto the lead through the first half, ending with an 11 point lead at 30-19. Through the second half, the Eagles offense fought back.
Junior Jordon Cloud’s points in the final seconds of the game left the score at 56-54 with the Raiders on top. As fans flooded the court at the sound of the buzzer, the referees called a technical foul on the Raiders, as there were two seconds remaining on the clock. The Eagles received 2 free shots, tying the game 56-56.
“With the sounding of the buzzer in such a rivalrous game, it was only expected that the fans would rush the court,” said senior Karina Bodemeijer. “It was a good game but toward the end I thought that a lot of the calls the refs made were bias.”
After two more four minute overtime periods, the Raiders fought to the end.
Despite the strife resulting from the questionable refereeing, the Raiders recently played the Eagles at their nest on Jan. 29.
“The next time we take them on we’re going to jump on them early, but this time we won’t let them back into the game,” said senior and starting shooting guard Kyler Joaquin. “We are better than them and will play like it. Watch your heads, EC. #teambunnies.”
As the team’s season comes to an end in mid Feb., their final home game will be on Feb. 12, which is also their senior night.
With only four senior players, the remaining eight plan to lead the team to victory in the next season.