Boys Basketball Squeak Out Semifinal Victory

2 mins read

On Thursday night, the boys’ basketball team took down the Palo Alto (Paly) Vikings in thrilling fashion, the final score being 54-49. This big win punched the Bears’ ticket to the CCS Division One championship. 

Paly wins the opening tip

M-A started hot with an early basket from senior Jonah Missan, which was followed by two steals from sophomore Jacob Sutton that both resulted in layups. After a floater from senior Jack Anderson, the Bears had a 7-2 lead. 

Paly quickly regained their footing, hitting a three-pointer and a layup in quick succession, which also got their home crowd into the game. After a layup from senior Justin Moore and a free throw from Anderson, the first quarter ended 13-12 in M-A’s favor.

The Vikings got scorching hot from beyond the arc in the second quarter, which made it impossible for M-A to gain momentum. M-A had a five point lead at the start of the quarter, but the Vikings’ hit threes on back-to-back possessions, putting them up by one.

After an M-A timeout, Paly trotted down the court and drilled their fourth three-pointer of the quarter, extending their lead to five. Junior Trevor Cadigan was able to respond with a three-pointer of his own, but it was quickly offset by yet another three-pointer from the Vikings on the ensuing possession. The first half came to a close with M-A trailing 25-30.

Senior Ben Timm said, “After halftime, we came out like we just chugged a gallon of confidence juice, and we finally started playing like a well-oiled machine.”

Baron guards Paly offender closely

That machine was certainly running better, as the third quarter started with an Anderson basket, free throws from Sutton, and a steal and easy layup for Missan which put M-A back up by one. Layups from Moore and senior Jack Kryger kept the Bears right with Paly throughout, and the two teams traded baskets for much of the third quarter. 

A layup for Williams off an incredible Moore assist tied the game at 37 with one minute left in the quarter. As the clock winded down, a second three-pointer for Cadigan gave M-A a 40-37 advantage heading into the final period of play.

The fourth quarter had everyone in the building shaking with nerves, and the noise of a packed Paly gym set the stage for an electric finish. 

The Vikings got an early bucket, causing M-A to take a timeout. Afterward, they resumed their momentum—putbacks from Moore and Anderson extended the Bears’ lead to four points right out of the timeout. Another layup from Anderson put the M-A lead at 46-41, but a deep stepback three-pointer by Paly drew them right back to within two. 

Despite the adversity, the Bears were determined to not let the game slip away. Moore bullied his way into the paint for a jump shot, and Missan swiped the ball from the Paly guard and took it coast to coast for a layup plus the foul. The crowd was roaring after Missan’s incredible play, which had extended the M-A lead to six. On the next M-A possession, a deflected pass from Kryger to Missan resulted in another layup, making the score 52-44 and essentially ending the game.

M-A talks strategy during a timeout late in the game

The Vikings tried to mount a comeback with under a minute left, but after they hit a three-pointer and a layup, they had to foul M-A. The Bears converted their free throws, putting the game away with confidence and a final score of 54-49. 

Senior David Baron later said, “We knew they were focused on taking their time and running plays, so we focused on double-teaming screens, which helped us speed the game up.”

Talking about tonight’s game, Cadigan said, “We know they are strong offensively so we need to keep high ball pressure and get steals. If we do that consistently throughout the game we will have a much better chance at winning.”

M-A will play for a Division One championship tonight against Los Gatos at 7 pm. The Bears played Los Gatos in their season opener and escaped with a six-point victory. 

The game will be played at Santa Clara High School.

Chase is a senior and in his third year of journalism. Chase is a sports editor and loves writing about sports events and music. In his free time, he plays soccer and hangs out with friends.

Latest from Blog