Braves Clawed by the Wildcats

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BALDWIN PARK, CA — On Friday, January 27, Baldwin Park’s Boys’ Varsity Basketball team lost against the Wilson Wildcats in a close match on home territory with a score of 62 to 51.

“We could have done better,” expressed BPHS sophomore Julian Moreno. “[To improve next time] as a team and myself, with energy and close out the game more aggressively and efficiently.”

The game started off with constant passings from teammate to teammate, trying to find the right strategy. Luis Flores tried to score, but a Wildcat took the ball and made the first shot of the game. As Eric Carbajal failed to pass, David Brizuela stole the ball and attempted to score. A timeout was called by the Braves as they weren’t neat and too choppy with passing. The Wildcats were already at 7-0. Brizuela scored two points and struggled to pass back to Flores. Fernando Carrillo and Brizuela both attempted to shoot three-pointer corner shots. The Braves defense strengthened as the Wildcats didn’t score for quite a while. Both Flores and Angel Zuniga hustled after a tedious play-by-play to prevent the Wildcats from scoring. Not long after, Brizuela made a three-point corner shot. Julian Moreno helped the Braves catch up after scoring two points. The Braves’ blocking strategy was improving, Flores quickly passed to Brizuela and scored yet another three-pointer. Moreno made another two points before the quarter ended, 13-12, the Braves only one point behind.

Brizuela made a three-pointer in the first twenty seconds of the second quarter, causing the Wildcats to call a timeout. BPHS Basketball newbie Cesar Pichardo proved himself after scoring a three-point corner shot. Moreno attempted to score, but the ball hit the rim and a nearby Wildcat took it out of his reach. Brizuela wouldn’t give up as he pushed himself and made his way through a pack of Wildcats, trying to score on his own. One small shot by another one, the Braves slowly caught up and were in the lead, 18-17. After Flores scored two points, the Wildcats called for a timeout, as both teams were neck-to-neck, 20-20. As the Wildcats tried to make a comeback, Brizuela stole the ball and attempted to make a three-pointer. He redeemed himself by making two points, but the Wildcats quickly caught up with small shots. The score was now 26-22. Brizuela successfully scored again and passed to Pichardo, who made a flawless three-pointer. Desperately trying to score, Brizuela attempted to score; however, the quarter ended 28-25, Wildcats in the lead.

After halftime, the Wildcats continued their aggressive streak, making the first points of the second half. The Wildcats continued to define their performance with good rebounds and quick plays. Putting a stop to the Wildcat’s streak, Flores put the Braves’ first points of the second half on the scoreboard, bringing the score to 37-29, Wilson in the lead. Well into the quarter, it became obvious that the Wildcats’ strategy was to steadily gain points, shooting lay-ups instead of plays that would ensure more points. The Braves, on the other hand, were still looking for a strategy to answer Wilson during this point of the match. Soon, the Braves picked themselves up, and the tide changed with a lay-up made by Edgar Morales, 40-33, Wilson still in the lead. Flores followed Morales with the first three-pointer of the quarter, and Brizuela followed Flores with another lay-up after a quick play. The Braves’ chances were looking up at the end of this quarter, which ended with Wilson slightly in the lead, 44-38.

During the final quarter, Fernando Carillo’s three-pointer set the mood for the Braves’ performance for the rest of the match. The Braves’ executed calmer and more decided plays while on offense. While on defense, they often hustled to steal the ball from the Wildcats in any attempt to switch possession. With a score of 48-43 in the middle of the quarter, the Wildcats were still in the lead and the five point gap continued for a while. Suddenly, the Wildcats pulled ahead and the Braves were unable to reduce the gap from that point onward. During the final seconds of the game, the Wildcats decided to slow down and simply wait for the buzzer to signal their win. However, Flores showed the Braves’ tenacity when he made one last three-pointer before the buzzer sounded and announced the Wildcats’ win, 62-51.

“I look forward to improving my game in any way I can to improve the team and to win games,” Moreno concluded.

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