Basketball rebounds against St. Francis, back to .500 in Mission League

Cole Jacobson

With a stellar team defensive effort and a pair of big offensive performances from its star guards, the varsity boys’ basketball responded from Monday’s tough loss to Crespi with a 53-42 win over Flintridge St. Francis (9-8 overall, 0-3 in Mission League) on Wednesday night, putting the Wolverines back at .500 in league play.

As has been usual since the foot injury to Wolfgang Novogratz ’16, guards Alex Copeland ’15 and Ali Iken ’17 handled the scoring load for Harvard-Westlake. Copeland led the team with 20 points on the night, and Iken was close behind with 16 on solid 7-for-14 shooting. Defensively, the Wolverines stifled the Golden Knights all night, led by 11 rebounds from Noah Gains ’15 and four steals from Copeland — St. Francis’ total of 42 points was its lowest in a full game since a Dec. 18 loss to Alhambra Mark Keppel.

Harvard-Westlake (10-6 overall, 2-2 in league) still stands at 5th place in the league, and will run into some stiffer competition in the last of its three-game road trip. The Wolverines will head to Chaminade (15-2 overall, 2-1 in league) for a 7 P.M. showdown on Friday. The defending Division 3 state champion Eagles are currently the 24th ranked team in the state on MaxPreps, and swept the Wolverines in 2013-14, who are currently ranked 105th in California.