Boys basketball loses to Sierra Canyon High School in a CIF State Open Division playoff game

Leo Saperstein

The boys basketball team lost to Sierra Canyon High School 72-55 in a California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) State Open Division playoff game March 5. The game concluded the squad’s 25-3 season in which it claimed the Mission League championship and made it to the CIF-SS Open Division finals against Corona Centennial High School. 

The team stayed close behind Sierra Canyon High school in the first and second quarters, down by one point at halftime. The opposition then scored 21 points in the third quarter alone, bringing the squad’s deficit to 11 points.

Guard Trent Perry ’24 said the team was energized for the game, following its 63-60 win over Sierra Canyon High School in the CIF-SS Open Division semifinals Feb. 18. 

“Our mindset was to just compete and give it our all on the floor,” Perry said. “Unfortunately, they were the better team [in our March 5 game], and we fell.”

Perry said he hopes his teammates continue to appreciate their bond and success throughout the season, despite their recent defeat. 

“I want each and every one of [my teammates] to embrace every moment we had together,” Perry said. “That one loss does not define us as a team and as individuals. We will be back as strong and maybe even stronger next year.”

Boys Basketball Program Head David Rebibo said the team struggled with stamina during the game against Sierra Canyon High School, especially after playing against high-level teams throughout the playoffs.

“I think it was an incredibly physical game, and I believe we wore down a little as the game went on,” Rebibo said. “I am incredibly proud of our team and program. The togetherness and toughness we displayed throughout the entire playoffs was special and something we can really build on. Beating any open division team [twice] in a span of [two] weeks is going to be tough on anyone.”

Rebibo said the team’s seniors encouraged the squad throughout the regular season and playoffs, especially by instilling a devoted mentality in the rest of the players. 

“Our seniors set the tone with incredible character, work ethic and sacrifice,” Rebibo said. “They are everything we want our program to be about and represent. We will miss them terribly and cannot wait to see how they continue to thrive in the next step of their journey. My hope is that they take every lesson that they learned in their [four] or [six] years at [the school] and grow from it. I am so proud of each and every single one of them.”

Forward Brady Dunlap ’23 said the team brought a positive attitude to the game against Sierra Canyon High School, even though players expected a difficult game.

“[Our] mindset was one of confidence,” Dunlap said. “We knew they were going to come in with a different energy, but we were still confident in ourselves.” 

Although Dunlap said he will no longer be able to play with senior teammates, he views the loss as an opportunity for growth.

“The loss is hard to talk about,” Dunlap said. “It will be the last time we get to play with our seniors. Unfortunately, it is just more pain to fuel us next year.”