By Jack Davis
After an historic season which included the first perfect Mission League record in 12 years and a 22-game winning streak, the boysâ basketball team ended their season losing back-to-back playoff games ending their hopes of repeating as CIF champions and conquering a state title.
The boysâ first playoff loss came in the semifinals of the CIF tournament to Compton Centennial, the squadâs first CIF playoff loss since 2008. Before the Centennial game, the team already suffered from poor luck, as they lost the coin toss that determined where the game was going to be played. While the CIF semifinals were going to be played at a neutral site regardless of who won the coin toss, the winner of the coin toss could choose the neutral site. If the Wolverines had won the coin toss they would have chosen to play at Calabasas High, which is only about 15 minutes from Harvard-Westlake. However, Centennial chose to play the game at Lynwood High School, only ten minutes away from Centennial and an estimated hour and a half away from Harvard-Westlake.
With much less fan support than usual, the Wolverines collapsed in the fourth quarter, losing 78-70.
“Thatâs a game we normally win,” guard Chris Barnum â10 said after the game.
The loss ended the teamâs hopes to repeat as CIF champions, but the team still qualified for state playoffs. However, due to their loss in CIF, the team received a very low seeding and drew an away game at Ridgeview. Ridgeview High School is located in Bakersfield and was a two and half hour drive for the team. The Wolverines found themselves in a similar position against Ridgeview as they did against Centennial, going into the fourth quarter with a lead and looking to close out the game. But again a victory slipped away from the Wolverines as a six point lead with two minutes to go turned into a seven point 79-72 loss.
“We didnât reach our goals and I feel like this team could have done more,” Erik Swoope â10 said. “Still, I love my guys and Iâm proud of what we accomplished over two years.”