With only a few seconds left on the clock, the Boys Varsity Basketball Team acted quickly, on the rebound, to score what would be the gaming winning shot. Senior Nick Fong (23) had only seconds to react as he drove the ball across half of the court before he swiftly passed it to Freshman Michael Granados (35). As the crowd’s volume rose exponentially, Granados shot the three point buzzer beater, hitting nothing but net. The gym was ecstatic as emotions of satisfaction, relief, and glee filled the stands and Keppel’s basketball players as the game ended, 47-45.
In a match against Monrovia last night, Keppel’s Boys Varsity team experienced a cold first half, struggling with closing the lead the opposing team had set, ultimately finishing with the score of 16-27. It wasn’t until the beginning of the third quarter that the team began to change their outlook on the game as Coach Duong began to write out new plays for the team to execute.
Junior Josiah Ojiri (25) explained how the team was “able to put on the clamps (increase control of the ball) and prevent the other team from putting away [the ball]”. The increased defense allowed for more shot opportunities to be taken as the score continued to waver.
Aside from the stronger defense, Fong described how Coach Duong’s instructions had helped him drive the team toward the right direction, “I listen[ed] to my coach and drove hard. This then got the team going and we built momentum.”
Leading the charge with an individual score of 22 points, “Nick drove hard and exposed the team’s transition defense”, said Ojiri. This was one of the main factors that allowed for Keppel to catch up as “the rest of [the team members] were able to find spots on the court where we could be [more] effective.”
Although it was a close game, the Boys Varsity team was able to end the night with a win. The team is looking towards this game as a lesson in preparation for the upcoming league. Fong believes the team could practice more on fundamentals, helping them sharpen up little details as they play. Their next game will be today, on January 7.