The days are getting warmer, the season is coming down to the wire, and Cougar basketball is on its final stretch to the finish line.
The boys Varsity basketball team is currently second in league behind only Santa Cruz High, who is undefeated. The boys Varsity basketball has its final game on Tuesday night against Aptos and has been preparing for both the league playoffs and CCS playoffs. The boys are not backing down from the challenge that is ahead of them.
Junior Tanner Murray put into word their goals of the weeks to come, saying, “We are looking to win out these next couple of weeks. We have been working day in and day out with the intentions and aspirations to win both the SCCAL League Tournament to win league, and take the next step and make a run at the CCS championship.”
The boys have a long, hard road ahead of them. Rival Santa Cruz High has beaten them in all three games this year, but they are the only team that boys Varsity has not vanquished. Each game is an ongoing battle between the two teams, with Santa Cruz narrowly winning each one. Despite the losses, the boys are not frightened by possibly facing Santa Cruz again in League Playoffs as well as CCS. In fact, the boys want the matchup against Santa Cruz.
Senior Captain Sebastian Vroman-Nell explained the team’s desire to have one more matchup. He said, “We definitely want that final matchup against Santa Cruz. We have been wanting to get that victory against them for a long while now and nothing would be more suiting than beating them in the League Championship to take it all.” It would be a spectacle to see the two powerhouses in the league go head to head for one final matchup. Nothing would be better than a long awaited San Lorenzo Valley victory.
A big question for the boys Varsity basketball team is where to go next. The boys have lived up to their preseason expectations, they have clinched a winning record in both league as well as a winning overall record. So the questions arises, where do the boys go from here? Coach Northcutt is not trying to have the boys stress out about the days ahead of them. Actually, Northcutt is trying to keep it as simple as their day to day routine in practice.
Northcutt said, “We are looking to just finish out the rest of league on a strong note and get a higher bid into CCS. We already know that we have clinched a spot and we know that we can beat any team we are matched up against, so why worry about the little things?” The calm demeanor of Coach Northcutt is spreading throughout the team. All of the players are prepared for the days ahead of them, with a calm approach and desire to win it all.
The Girls Varsity basketball team is looking to finish out the season strong. The young team has gone 7-12 this season which, despite the losing record, does not speak for the success that the young team has accomplished this year.
Junior Kenedi Kraten remarked about how she feels the strength of the team revolves around the team chemistry. She said, “I think our team chemistry and being able to bond with one another together out on the court will bring this young team to the next level. We have already proven to people that we can play basketball, which is huge because we have so many people that will be returning next year.”
The team has had a productive season establishing a system and a connection between teammates that will hopefully help finish this year on a high note and affect next year’s team as well. Madeline Johnson feels that the success of this year will carry into next year. She said,“In past years, we have found that we do not get that many wins. This year, our skill level is much improved from years past and we have gotten more wins than we have typically. I truly feel that the success of this year will carry onto the next,”
The Girls Varsity Basketball coach, Andrea Trader is truly proud of what the girls have been able to accomplish this season. She said, “There have not been many negatives about this season. We need to focus on making good passes and sticking to the gameplan and we will have nothing to worry about for the rest of this season, as well as the years to come.”
Despite the injuries to key players on the court, the JV boys had a winning season, with an even 6-6 record in league. The JV girls battled through adversity the entire year. The win-loss record does not speak to how hard these girls worked the entire year, and they hope to continue to improve in the years to come. Both the basketball programs here at San Lorenzo Valley High School have the opportunity to experience more success, complete the season on a high note, and improve for next year.
By Ian Blair