Basketball wins second consecutive University pool play game

Cole Jacobson

Behind another excellent offensive performance from Alex Copeland ’15, the varsity boys’ basketball team comfortably handled St. Monica (3-4 overall, 0-0 in Camino Real League), winning Thursday night’s game 63-45 to move to 2-0 in pool play at the University High School Jim Nakabara Classic.

Copeland led the team with 25 points on the night; he has now scored over 20 in five consecutive games, the first Wolverine to do so since Zena Edosomwan ’12 put together six such games in January 2011. Ali Iken ’17 rebounded from a tough 3-for-10 shooting performance on Wednesday to drop 17 points in today’s game, and Wolfgang Novogratz ’16 performed well in his second game of the season, scoring 10 points on 3-for-4 shooting in only 17 minutes of time.

On the defensive side of the ball, Noah Gains ’15 pulled 11 rebounds — already his third time in double-digit boards this season after not hitting the mark once as a junior. Active hands on this side of the floor made up for a rough jump shooting night for the team (4-for-18 from three-point range), as Copeland pulled four steals, Novogratz had three, and Spencer Perryman ’15, Aaron Glazer ’17 and Ray Mueller ’17 all took two apiece to stifle the St. Monica offense.

With the win, Harvard-Westlake (5-1 overall, 0-0 in Mission League) eliminated St. Monica, who finished 1-2 in pool play, from tournament title contention. The Wolverines find themselves in a similar situation to last week’s Mira Costa Tournament; their last pool play game will be against a fellow 2-0 team in the tournament, in a game where the winner is guaranteed to make the tournament championship while the loser will head to the third-place game.

This time, the Wolverines will be taking on Dorsey (5-2 overall, 0-0 in Coliseum League), a CIF LA City Section Division 1 quarterfinalist from a year ago whom the Wolverines handily beat 94-64 in pool play of last season’s Jim Nakabara Classic. The game, referred to by the Los Angeles Daily News’ Jack Pollon as “BIG FRIDAY HOOP ACTION,” will be at 5:30 P.M. tomorrow in the same University gym, as the winner will advance to Saturday’s championship against the winner of the University vs. Windward game on Friday night.