Boys’ Basketball advances to CIF Championship round

By Judd Liebman and Alex Leichenger

In the closest game of its CIF playoff run, the boys’ basketball team defeated Damien High School 59-56 in the semifinal round Friday night at Calabasas High, a neutral location. The win pushes the Wolverines to the CIF Championship round for the second time in three years.

The Spartans hung around with consistent three-point shooting and strong post play from star center Chris Reyes, but the Wolverines controlled the game from the outset.

Damiene Cain ’11 drained three three-pointers and had 11 points in the first quarter. A slowed tempo frustrated the Wolverines in the second quarter, but Jordan Butler ’11 banked in a buzzer-beater from midcourt to send them into the half with a 27-21 lead.

Most of the Wolverine offense in the second half came from Butler, who finished with 17 points, and Josh Hearlihy ’12, who scored 12. At the end of the third quarter, Butler drove the length of the floor in five seconds for another buzzer-beating shot, this time a layup. 

The Spartans clawed back into the game late, but the Wolverines denied a potential game-tying three-pointer as the clock expired to close out the win.

“Man, I could not be any more excited right now,” Butler said after the game. “We knew we had to come in here and play well, and we executed.”

The Wolverines relied more than usual on perimeter shooting when the Spartans began to double-team Cain, who finished with 17 points and 8 rebounds. Center Zena Edosomwan ’12 was also held to a season-low two points. 

“We had to stretch it out, but it worked out for us in the end,” Butler said.