The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Chronicle’s Winter Takes

Four Chronicle staffers gave their thoughts on select winter season sports. Here are their opinions on boys’ basketball, and crucial role players on some teams.
Connor Tang

Should there be concern about boys’ basketball?

The boys’ basketball team picked up back-to-back defeats in tight games against Mission League contenders Sierra Canyon and Notre Dame, both teams that they did not lose to last year. The team is now faced with a third place standing in the Mission League, and will likely have to play these teams again. Our writers discuss whether or not the losses should be a source of concern for the team moving forward.


Justin Tang | Assistant Sports Editor and Boys’ Basketball Reporter

Losses are concerning


The Wolverines have not looked like the same team offensively. For the team to compete with other offensive powerhouses like Notre Dame and Sierra Canyon, the squad’s big three of Trent Perry ’24, Robert Hinton ’24 and Nik Khamenia ’25  all need to deliver offensively. Although Perry and Khamenia haven’t had trouble scoring in these games, Hinton hasn’t looked as comfortable as he was earlier in the season, when he was easily scoring midrange and three-point opportunities.

On the defensive side, rebounding has been a major issue for the Wolverines. Head Coach David Rebibo has shown a tendency to run a small-ball, fast-paced lineup with Isaiah Carroll ’25 at the forward position for Dom Bentho ’26, but he has paid the price, losing offensive and defensive rebounds. This was apparent in their ranked matchups against Columbus School (FL) and McEachern School (GA), where missed rebounds played a major difference down the stretch for the Wolverines. Rebibo will have to decide whether he prefers the quick offense or a larger presence on the glass as the team looks to retake control of the Mission League.


Hana Mehdi Williams | Sports Section Contributor

Losses are not concerning


Up until mid-January, the defending state champions had our students convinced that they would once again take home the trophy. After two consecutive losses against Notre Dame and Sierra Canyon, some are concerned that Wolverines can only be a one-hit wonder.

But now is not the time to lose hope. Just two days before the Notre Dame game, the Wolverines traveled across the country and defeat McEachern High School, led by 5-star recruit Ace Bailey, who is definitely NBA-bound. Two days after Notre Dame, they played Sierra Canyon. The team had little to no time to recover and practice for opposing teams. Additionally, these three games were the first truly competitive games of their season, with most of their past games as blowouts. The losses aren’t a sign of failure, but a dire wake-up call for the team. If the team can watch enough film to recover their mistakes and begin finding their strides in practice to build back confidence, future games against these teams are going to look very  different. Rebibo and the Wolverines have shown their ability to bounce back before, and they are without a doubt able to do it again.



Alex Dinh | Sports Section Contributor

Losses are concerning


After dropping two straight league games to Notre Dame and Sierra Canyon, there are some clear problems that Rebibo and the squad are going to need to get fixed before the end of the season.

The problems for the team start with the holes left by graduating seniors last year. Although the loss of Brady Dunlap ’23 was vital, it is the loss of 6’11” Jacob Huggins ’23 that truly affected the team. Bentho and Barron Linnekens ’26 have showed splashes of greatness as bigs in their sophomore season, however, they don’t provide the squad with the same stability that  Huggins did.

In addition, the team has been too prone to losing their large leads. Against McEachern, the team was up by 18 but was forced to pull off a win in overtime. Against Notre Dame, the team got out to an 11 point lead in the first six minutes but ended up losing the game 59-54. Against Sierra Canyon, the Wolverines led 58-50 early in the fourth quarter until they blew the lead. This all happened in one week. The Wolverines can fix these issues, but they must be addressed before playoffs.


Connor Tang | Sports Section Contributor

Losses are not concerning


There’s no doubt that the losses are surprising. Although at first glance, the two losses looked like bitter defeats, the team actually showcased their strongest performances. Against one of the most explosive and energetic teams they have played, Notre Dame, the Wolverines came out blazing with a clear 21-10 point lead. In a back-and-forth game against a star-studded and new-looking Sierra Canyon team, they went on a dominant run to take an eight point lead with almost five minutes left, demonstrating control and poise in a hostile environment. The win-loss record doesn’t accurately display this team’s strengths and weaknesses. They have struggled in critical minutes, which can be easily prevented with adjustments to game prep and leaders to step up and say, “look, we’re good.”

Because we know Khamenia and Hinton can find the mid-range. We know Perry can get to the free throw line. We know Christian Horry ’24 can knock down shots from behind the arc. But this can only come with confidence. When faced with ranked opponents full of four and five star recruits, the team needs to continue playing the way they do in practice and in dominant games.

The naysayers and other teams shouldn’t dictate how confident they play. Only the team should. Rebibo lost games to Liberty (NV) and St. John Bosco last year, but remember how it ended.


Our picks for underrated players

With a host of winter sports nearing the end of their seasons, we asked our four writers to pick underrated athletes from a few teams. As role players they may not be the most athletic or talented among their group, but are crucial to overall success in what they do for their teams. Here are their picks.

Justin Tang

Boys Basketball

Athlete: Isaiah Carroll ’25


Forward Isaiah Carroll ’25 has developed into a great sixth man option for the Wolverines. Standing at 6’6”, Carroll has been a strong defensive presence for the team when in the game and has also shown an ability to shoot the ball with confidence. Carroll has developed an impressive level of awareness in his first year on the varsity team and has learned the Wolverines’ offensive and defensive schemes quickly.

The only thing for him to improve on, however, is his defensive strength and rebounding. He has some struggles with boxing out stronger opponents. Going into CIF playoffs and next year, expect Carroll to become an essential part of this Wolverines squad.

Hana Mehdi Williams

Girls’ Basketball

Athlete: Deana Thompson ’25


The girls’ basketball team is often overshadowed by the boys’ basketball program. Nevertheless, their players are equally as impressive, specifically, guard Deana Thompson ’25. The Wolverines played Notre Dame, and Thompson hit the 1000th point of her career Jan. 25. In doing so, she has cemented herself as one of the most skilled girls basketball players to ever go through the program. Despite only being a junior, Thompson has joined Trent Perry ’24 in elite standing, who also hit the 1000-point mark this year.

She has been an all-star her entire career. In her freshman year, she was the only freshman on the team selected to first Team Mission League and was top three in scoring amongst freshmen in the CIF Southern Section Division 1. Thompson is a superstar in the making and deserves all the praise and more.

Alex Dinh

Girls’ Soccer

Athlete: Stella Jurado ’27


Defender Stella Jurado ’27, standing at 4’11”, is flying under the radar, but don’t be mistaken — she has been a key contributor for the girlssoccer team in her first season. After starting the season on the junior varsity (JV) team, Jurado is now a starting midfielder, making plays on both the offensive and defensive ends.

In a league match against Flintridge Sacred Heart on Jan. 10, Jurado made her presence known with her first-ever high school goal. Forward number 22 Skyla Wilkins ’25 sent a cross into the box, and Jurado, who was wearing the number 22 JV jersey with a piece of tape over the second two, headed the ball in. Jurado has now been given her spot on varsity, and the new number 28 is a vital piece of the team’s young core of players.

Connor Tang 

Boys’ Soccer

Athlete: Race Serota ’25


No one appreciates the secret behind the success of the boys’ soccer offense. A squad needs crucial midfielders, who are able to skillfully receive and thread passes, and not allow turnovers to feed into another team’s offense.

Race Serota ’25 is a premier example of such — he’s an outstanding ball handler, who is physical with his opponents, yet outmaneuvers them to get the ball to the offense. He knows how to quickly find seams to get the ball down to the corners, which allows for scoring opportunities. Just this season, Serota has already done an excellent job with the team, and he will only improve.

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About the Contributors
Connor Tang, Editor-in-Chief
Alex Dinh, Executive Editor
Justin Tang, Print Managing Editor

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