Celter Skelter: Boys’ Basketball defeated at Crespi, 71-61

Jake Liker

There are a few similar sayings that get tossed around in the oft-competitive Mission League. Indeed, three things in life are certain come January: death, taxes, and Mission League head coach saying something along the lines of, Anybody can beat anybody in the Mission League, you can’t overlook anyone; Anything can happen in the Mission League, that’s why they play the games; You can never have an off night in the Mission League, or some other bland bowl of alphabet soup that gets served up to express that same sentiment.

By the time we reach February’s doorstep, truisms like these have becomes so cliched and overused that they start to lose meaning. But just when we’re about ready to roll our eyes at them, games like the one which took place Monday night in Crespi’s Alumni Memorial Gymnasium Complex come along–Crespi beats Harvard-Westlake by ten, and we are reminded that these phrases wouldn’t be called truisms if they weren’t true so often.

The Celts entered the game having lost two straight, the more recent of which coming last Friday night, 83-48 drubbing at home against St. Francis. But sure enough, three nights later on that very same court, they went on to win 71-61 against a Wolverines team which had been riding a two-game win streak after beating rivals Loyola on the road in overtime. The Wolverines remain 2nd in the Mission League, but after Alemany defeated Loyola on Monday night, the Wolverines are now three games behind the 9-0 Warriors. Crespi is now 4-5, a mark good enough to launch them into 4th.

Monday night’s affair had been tightly contested throughout–neither team led by more than 7 in the first three quarters. The Wolverines actually carried a 6-point lead into halftime and led 34-27 early in the third quarter. But before they could pull away, Crespi responded with a 9-1 run, keeping things interesting.
Trailing by one entering the fourth quarter, the Celts opened the final period of play with ten unanswered points and never looked back, although perhaps a bit nervously over their shoulder when the Wolverines cut the lead to five with under two minutes remaining. Crespi’s Taj Regans ’18 responded with a three with 1:23 remaining, although the Wolverines would soon have a chance to answer with three points of their own.

On the ensuing possession, Ali Iken ‘17 was fouled while attempting a shot from beyond the arc, but missed all three free throws, accentuating the team’s profligacy on the night (The Wolverines made just nine of their 20 free throws, an abysmal 45%). The Celts went down the court, scored from downtown to make it 66-55 with 55 seconds left, and the rest is history.

Freshmen Johnny Juzang ‘20 and Terren Frank ‘20 were responsible for over half the team’s points, with 18 and 14, respectively. Cassius Stanley ‘19 scored 16 points.
Next up for the Wolverines is a home game against Notre Dame on Wednesday. On paper, it’s a comfortable matchup–the Knights are 0-8 in league play thus far–but, then again, anybody can beat anybody in the Mission League, you can’t overlook anyone.