Basketball drops fourth straight game in heartbreaker at Fairfax event

Cole Jacobson

Explosive offensive performances from leading scorers Ali Iken ’17 and Alex Copeland ’15 weren’t enough to end the varsity boys’ basketball team’s losing streak, as the squad dropped a tight 83-81 decision to Calabasas (14-10 overall, 2-4 in Marmonte League) on Saturday morning during the Fairfax High School “State Preview Classic.”

Iken, who was held to five points in Friday’s loss to Alemany, rebounded in a huge way — the sophomore guard scored a career-high 28 points on a career-best 6-for-8 three-point-shooting while securing six rebounds and three steals, prompting the Los Angeles Times’ Eric Sondheimer to ask “Who is Ali Iken?” on his Twitter account. Copeland — referred to as “the old man” by Sondheimer — also had a strong offensive effort, nearly matching Iken with 27 points of his own on 12-for-21 shooting with five assists and two steals, and Carter Begel ’17 tied his career-high with 14 points on 4-for-5 shooting while also adding five assists. Noah Gains ’15 also had a strong all-around effort, scoring seven points with a team-leading 15 rebounds and seven assists.

The game went back and forth for all four quarters, with neither team ever leading by more than six points. Copeland tied the game at 81 apiece by scoring with 11.5 seconds to go, but then a layup from former Sherman Oaks Notre Dame player Ryan Ducar ’15 with 1.4 seconds left gave the Coyotes the lead for good, as they escaped Fairfax with a win and extended the Wolverines’ losing streak to four games.

Harvard-Westlake falls to 11-10 overall and remains 3-5 in the Mission League, and will get back into league play with a three-game homestand in the next school week. The squad will first take on Crespi (16-6 overall, 5-2 in league) at home on Feb. 2 at 7 P.M. Crespi defeated the Wolverines 59-52 in the teams’ first matchup on Jan. 12, and is currently ranked 51st in California according to MaxPreps, compared to 122nd for Harvard-Westlake.