By Peter Skrumbis
After finishing the regular season with a record of 21-5, the varsity boysâ basketball team is headed to CIF playoffs on Friday against Calabasas.
The Wolverines also earned their 10th Mission League Championship after Verbum Dei broke the tie atop Mission League by upsetting Crespi in their final game of the season.
âIâve been very impressed by how they finished the season,â head coach Greg Hilliard said. âWeâve had three games with overtime or buzzer-beaters and weâre 3-0 which speaks volumes about their strength.â
âJabari Trotter â07 and Renaldo Woolridge â08 need to continue to play well, but we play every game with the intent to win,â Hilliard said.
âWeâre taking it game by game and trying to get far as we can,â Woolridge said. âWeâve worked hard up to this point and hopefully it will all pay off in the end.â
Woolridge has been a key contributor this year, and looks to continue to be an influence.
âPlayoffs is a time when you donât worry about individuals,â Woolridge said. âWhatever it means, passing, rebounds or scoring, Iâll do it.â
The Wolverines already played Compton, the team they could face in the second round of CIF if victorious their first round matchup with Calabasas, in the Ocean View Tournament. In theÂ tournament, they went 2-2 while beating Villa Park.
âThere are no real glaring problems, but we donât have our starting center, and we canât expect to succeed in the second and third rounds if we donât have our full team,â Hilliard said.
The team could potentially end up playing one of the top programs in the country like Compton or Mater Dei in later rounds.
âItâs exactly what we expected,â Hilliard said. âWe played [Compton] earlier in the year and they have a star who is beyond stoppable, the only way we can really hope to stop him is if he stops himself.â
When asked about the possibility of playing a powerhouse like Compton, Woolridge said, âIâm ready for the challenge. Weâre underrated because we can catch up against teams like that. Thereâs a high chance for us to win a game like that and thatâs what we need to think about.â