The boys’ basketball team started the season with a 20-2 overall record and an undefeated 5-0 league record. This year marks the Wolverines’ best opening since the 2010 team jumped out to a 21-2 start.
“[It’s] amazing,” Wing Holden McRae ’20 said. “We’ve put in so much work this season and over the past couple of years that we’re all very excited to see these kinds of results. At the same time, none of us are satisfied with what we’ve done so far. We recognize that we’re on the right track, but we all want more out of ourselves and each other because we know how good we can be.”
Throughout the season, the squad competed in many tournaments and neutral-site games, such as the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach and the Jordan Take Flight Showcase at Redondo Union High School. Power forward Trumann Gettings ’21 said he attributes part of the success to the squad’s camaraderie on the court.
“I think our team chemistry is amazing and has been a major component to our success this season,” Gettings said. “We all have the same goal and know that none of us can do it alone.”
The team’s triumphs have not affected the players’ mindsets, McRae said
“Even though we have been getting some attention this year, we all still play with that underdog attitude and bring our all to every game,” McRae said.
According to MaxPreps, the squad is ranked eighth in the nation and fourth in the state. Gettings said that although the recognition is appreciated, the team understands the rankings do not hold significance in the long run.
“I don’t think anyone on the team really cares or lets it affect us,” Gettings said. “We knew coming into this year how good we were going to be, so when it happened, it was really cool but I don’t think it surprised anybody too much. Everyone took it with a grain of salt because as much as those rankings are a great measure of success, the only success that actually matters is whether we have a ring on our finger at the end of the season.”
In 22 games, the team outscored opponents by a total of 394 points this year, resulting in an 18-point average margin of victory. Despite their dominance, the Wolverines have lost two games, falling to Baltimore Polytechnic Institute by 10 points Dec. 27 and losing to St. Anthony High School by one Jan. 4.
“From those two games, we have definitely realized the level of intensity that we need to bring into every game,” Gettings said. “We made a name for ourselves, which means that every game is the most important game of the season for the opposing team. That means that they are going to give us their best shot and because of that, we need to come out every game like our lives are on the line.”
McRae said that although the losses served as valuable teaching moments, the squad does not intend to repeat those lessons.
“We’ve learned that we truly have to bring our all to every single game because we’re getting everyone else’s best shot,” McRae said. “We know that beating us could make another team’s season. Every game, we have to be locked in on every possession because one momentary lapse could keep us from our goal of making Open Division and winning a CIF Championship. Both of those games reminded us of how important every play is, but at this point in the season, we can’t afford to have any more reminders.”
The team will play tonight at home against Chaminade College Preparatory. A win will secure the Wolverines more victories than they had all of last year, in seven fewer games.