Basketball Stumbles into NCS Tourney

Ryan Jeter , Staff Writer

Varsity boys’ basketball lost to the Las Lomas Knights in their final regular season game. Coming off of a win against College Park, the Cougars had hoped to keep their momentum going heading into the NCS playoffs.

Campolindo beat the Knights earlier in the season on January 31, winning by 3 points. Las Lomas shooting guard Devon Payne had 25 points against the Cougars in that contest.

According to Tom Caprio, the Knights were particularly motivated this time around because it was their squad’s senior night.

The Knights started the game by holding the Cougars to just 7 points while they rang up 22. “We came out slow and sloppy with the ball and made many turnovers,” said Chan. “We knew we had to get stronger with the ball and play smarter if we were going to come back into the game.”

Campolindo turned up the defense in the 2nd quarter. The Cougars scored 13 points while the Knights managed only 8 to make the score 29-20 in favor of Las Lomas going into halftime. “When the shots aren’t falling you have to play good defense, which we were doing,” said Caprio.

The defensive intensity waned after the half however, as Cougars allowed 20 points while scoring 10. Be the end of the quarter the Knighes held a 49-30 advantage. “We were getting good shots but weren’t hitting them,” said Chan.”We really had to improve our defense.”

The tide turned again in the 4th quarter as the Campolindo offense came alive to score 29. “We started knocking down shots later in the game, which really helped with our confidence at the end of the game,” said freshman guard Hunter Clarke.

The final flurry was not enough to overcome the early lapses though. “This was a tough loss and we did not get into the seed we wanted to get in for the playoffs, but we still had a pretty successful season,” said Caprio.

The Cougars subsequently awarded the #2 seed in the NCS playoffs, receiving a bye in the 1st round. The team will play against Hercules on February 24 in the quarterfinal game.