Playing in front of 370 viewers on the “High School Cube” website, the varsity boys’ basketball team got its first win of the Maxpreps Holiday Classic, handling Palm Desert (5-6 overall, 0-1 in Desert Valley League) from start to finish in a 56-41 pool play victory on Saturday afternoon.
Point guard Alex Copeland ’15 atoned for a tough 6-for-20 shooting performance in Friday’s loss to Galena of Nevada with a strong outing today, leading the team with 23 points and adding three rebounds, three assists, and two steals. With 23.7 PPG through 10 games, Copeland is both the Mission League and CIF-SS Division 4AA scoring leader. Wolfgang Novogratz ’16 had another solid game as well with 12 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, and two steals. Overall, the Wolverines’ jump shooting was improved from Friday, as the team went 7-for-21 from 3-point-range today, including two makes apiece from Ali Iken ’17 (10 points) and Spencer Perryman ’15 (six points)
After struggling to create separation early on, Harvard-Westlake took control of the game with an 18-5 advantage in the second quarter, which put the halftime score at 29-15. The Aztecs were forced to pay catch-up the rest of the way, never cutting the lead to less than nine points the rest of the way.
With the loss, Palm Desert is now 0-2 in tournament play, and eliminated from title contention. The Wolverines (7-3 overall, 0-0 in Mission League) are now 1-1 in the tournament, and will take on another CIF-SS foe in Diamond Bar (8-3 overall, 0-0 in Palomares League) in their final pool play game on Monday. Because Diamond Bar (2-0 in the tournament) upset Galena later on Saturday, the Wolverines still have a chance at winning the pool — tiebreaker rules are not released on the tournament website, but head-to-head performance is likely a factor.
“High School Cube” will again be showcasing the Wolverines’ game to the country for free. The link to Monday’s game, which will start at 6:30 P.M. at Rancho Mirage High School, is here:
Those who missed today’s game can re-watch it here: