Losses to Crespi cost league title

Losses to Crespi cost league title

KING OF THE COURT: Forward Johnny Juzang ’20 takes a three-point shot while defended by a Loyola player Jan. 31 in a 65-48 win. Juzang is a five-star recruit according to ESPN.com. PHOTO CREDIT: Noah Aire / Chronicle

The boys’ basketball team is looking forward to playoffs after a successful season, finishing with a league record of 9-3.

After losing to Crespi on Jan. 17, the team looked for redemption by hosting the Colts at home Feb. 9. However, the team fell 72-63 to Crespi in the game that determined whether or not the squad would have played in the CIF Open Division.

The team placed second in the league and will advance to the Southern Section Division I Playoffs on Feb. 14.

“We played really well together and all stuck by each other and fought with each other,” Juzang said. “I think it’s just a matter of making better decisions, playing smarter basketball and maybe picking up the defensive intensity. There’s been great chemistry and great teamwork.”

With strong players in the post, the team looked to forward Mason Hooks ’20, guard Johnny Juzang ‘20 and guard Brase Dottin ’20 for defensive help against Crespi.

“We want to do a good job of keeping Brandon Williams off the free-throw line and out of the paint,” Program Head David Rebibo said.
Though the team gained Dottin, who came back from a concussion, it lost Truman Gettings ’21 to a concussion.

Hooks had to stop playing after the first quarter due to his sinus infection, meaning the Wolverines were missing two key players. The team grew tired as the Celts pulled away due to the squad’s loss of players and how tired the rest of the team was. The game determined the team’s seed going into the CIF Division I Playoffs.

“I want us to win as many games as we possibly can,” Juzang said. [I want to] improve myself and my teammates as much as I can and come out with a couple of rings, CIF and state. I really want to learn as much as I can and improve myself as much as I possibly can.”

Having lost many players to Sierra Canyon, the Wolverines have a very young team yet have still defeated most of their competition, only losing to Crespi and Alemany. Although they defeated Alemany at home once, the team fell to the Warriors on Jan. 19 by two points with Juzang out sick. The Wolverines dropped both games against Crespi due to lack of players.

With key players gone from last year’s team, many doubted the ability of this year’s lineup. However, the team managed to finish the season strongly.

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“We’re a family and we play well together,” guard Simon Pompan ’18 said. “When we share the ball, we play our best.”

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