The boys’ basketball team won tonight against Beverly Hills High School 58-53 in its first home game of the season. In a close matchup with the Beverly Hills Normans, the Wolverines maintained the lead in the beginning of the game but towards the end of the first half the Normans cut the difference.
“We wanted to win by playing good basketball and playing as hard as we could,” forward Mason Hooks ’20 said. “I think we got away from that a little at the end of the first half, but we were able to pull it out at the end by playing hard.”
Wing Holden McRae ’20 said the close victory taught the team to play each game with the same intensity from the start.
“We definitely learned to mentally prepare for every game the same way,” McRae said. “I think teams get into trouble any time they over or underestimate their opponent. Also, they played really hard all game which shows us that we always have to match and surpass the other team’s intensity right from tip-off.”
Hooks was the leader of the stats sheet with 29 points and 11 rebounds. The second highest scoring Wolverine was forward Truman Gettings ’21 with 10 points. Gettings clinched the game in the fourth quarter with a go-ahead layup followed by two made free-throws. In addition, guard Cameron Thrower ‘22 scored eight points, with two back to back three point shots at the end of the first quarter.
— Harvard-Westlake (@hwathletics) December 22, 2018
Securing their first home win of the season, the Wolverines improve their overall record to 9-2. Thrower said his teammates and coaches reassured him when he was feeling nervous about his first home game.
“To have my first game of the season, I was nervous but excited as well,” Thrower said. “My teammates during warm-ups and in the locker room helped boost my confidence and that calmed my nerves down a little bit. Also when I started playing and doing well, I knew that everything was going to be okay because I knew that my teammates and my coaches had my back throughout the game.”
Hooks said being at home was a good feeling and the fans helped the team maintain excitement throughout the game.
“The first home game was great,” Hooks said. “It was awesome to be able to play in front of such a good crowd.”
With its season starting strong, the team continues to develop its play in a San Diego tournament over winter break.
“We have an out of town tournament coming up so those games will be a great test for us,” McRae said. “We try to get better every day and take every game one at a time. Our next home game is a league rival and another great team in Notre Dame. This upcoming tournament will be a great way for us to continue to improve as we try to remain undefeated at home this season.”
After the Torrey Pines Tournament from Dec. 26-29, the team will have its first league game against Notre Dame on Jan. 4 in Taper Gym with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.