Braves Excommunicated by Saints
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BALDWIN PARK, CA — On Tuesday, February 7, Senior Night for Baldwin Park’s Boys’ Varsity Basketball, the Braves lost against the Saints in an exciting match with a score of 66-37.
“Probably one our biggest obstacles tonight was putting up points against a good defense,” commented senior Jason Reyna. “Three of our main starters, which are also our biggest game changers, are sick with the flu and have been having trouble staying in the game for the past week or so.”
Before the announcement of the two teams’ starting lineups, the Braves honored their six senior boys’ varsity basketball members who will be graduating in June. The list included Johnny Alduenda, David Brizuela, Fernando Carrillo, Luis Flores, Edgar Morales, and Jason Reyna. The boys were greeted by family members and had an opportunity for commemorative photos before the game began.
At the start of the first quarter, both the Braves and the Saints fought to establish dominance on the court. However, the first points of the match went to the Saints, who were quick with rebounds and decided in their plays. In response, the Braves attempted to set up a solid defense, working out many times when Edgar Morales would stop multiple lay-ups attempted by the Saints. When the score reached 7-0, Saints in the lead, it became obvious that the Saints’ strategy was to quickly maneuver whenever the ball was stolen or in their possession, never allowing an opportunity for the Braves to counter. The Braves ultimately decided to play the better rebound game for any hopes of catching up to the Saints. Before the quarter ended, Cesar Pichardo scored a three to bring the score to 19-6, the Braves trailing.
During the second quarter, the Braves began to reveal an inconsistency with their shooting. The Saints continued to build points through quick plays that soon brought their score to 23-11, a few minutes into this quarter. The Braves fought hard against the Saints’ often aggressive strategies, which was extremely difficult because the Saints essentially guaranteed points whenever they found themselves in possession of the ball. The second quarter ended with the Saints pulling further in the lead, 37-13.
After halftime, the Braves valiantly fought on despite the fatigue that seemed to seep into their plays. The first points of the third quarter were made by the Saints, who seemed relentless in contrast with the Braves’ more tentative plays. The Braves dug deep and put more points on the scoreboard when Fernando Carrillo shot a three-pointer that greatly boosted the Braves’ morale. However, the mood did not last long when the Saints answered back with their own three-pointers, eventually bringing the score of the third quarter to 59-23, Saints.
In the final quarter, the Brave decided to pull out all of their shots to minimize the point gap as much as possible before the eight minutes were up. Luis Flores repeatedly attempted to put points on the scoreboard through layups but could not find weak spots in the Saints’ defense. Soon after David Brizuela hinted at a tide shift with a clean layup for the Braves and Flores shot a three that brought the score to 64-25. By the end of the quarter, the final score was 66-37, signaling the Saints’ victory.
“Overall, it wasn’t our best game but it was all we could do with what we had,” summarized Reyna. “We had some mistakes but that’s what’s expected with the obstacles that the team was facing.”