Basketball drops heartbreaker in nationally streamed tournament championship

Cole Jacobson

The varsity boys’ basketball team got huge production from its three scoring leaders Tuesday, but couldn’t hold off a second-half rally from highly-ranked Foothill (11-3 overall, from Henderson, Nevada), as the Falcons stunned the Wolverines in the fourth quarter to win the Gatorade Division of the MaxPreps Holiday Classic by a score of 77-76.

Alex Copeland ’15, Wolfgang Novogratz ’16, and Ali Iken ’17 have carried the scoring load for the team this year, and all had especially big performances Tuesday, combining for 73 of the team’s 76 points. Copeland led the way with 32 points on efficient 12-for-21 shooting, four assists, and four steals, as he now has scored 30+ in three of his last five games. Novogratz scored 27 points on 9-for-15 from the field, while also putting up nine rebounds, five assists, and three steals, and Iken added 14 points, including a career-best 4-for-9 effort on three-point attempts.

Harvard-Westlake led by as much as 14 in the game, and was up 46-36 at the half. However, Foothill, the sixth ranked team in Nevada on MaxPreps, slowly chipped at the lead, and took it for good on a three-pointer by guard Ryan Rapp ’15 with 20 seconds to go, as the Wolverines could not get a good look on their final possession.

This was Harvard-Westlake’s third consecutive game playing on the live-stream of “High School Cube.” The game had an impressive 3,618 views at its conclusion, easily the highest of the Wolverines’ three streamed games this week.

After playing four games in five days, the Wolverines (8-4 overall, 0-0 in Mission League) will get some needed rest before their next contest. As the school’s winter break comes to an end, the team will head into league play, where the first matchup will be a home game against Sherman Oaks Notre Dame (8-5 overall, 0-0 in league) on Jan. 7 at 7 p.m. Harvard-Westlake swept Notre Dame in the teams’ two match-ups last season, and is ranked 112th in California on MaxPreps’ most recent rankings, compared to 191st for the Knights.