In front of a full house and lively crowd, the boys’ frosh-soph basketball team suffered a difficult 52-47 semi-final loss to the Mission Bears on Feb. 20, ending the team’s season.
After the first quarter, the Bears led 14-10. The inability to collect both offensive and defensive rebounds contributed to the Cardinals’ trailing. Sloppy play and turnovers added to the deficit. But great passing and good vision kept the Cardinals in the game, limiting the Bears to only a four point lead. At one point the game was tied at 4-4, but then the Bears went on a 5-0 run. The Cardinal’s, however, responded with a run of their own, tying the game up at 10-10, after trailing 10-6. Going into the final seconds, the Cardinals had all the momentum, but could not stop the streaking Bears from going on another run, who ended the seven minutes with a 14-10 lead. Sophomore shooting guard Soren Carpenter and sophomore guard Joshua Yu tied with the lead in scoring for the Cardinals in the first quarter with four points.
The second quarter was all Cardinals; going into halftime they led 27-19. Two three pointers by Yu kept the team in the game. But the main contributor to their domination was their superb defense. With good pressure, the Cardinals were able to create turnovers. Defensive blocks were key as well, and unlike the first quarter, the team was able to get more rebounds. After going up 20-19, the Cardinals went on a roll ending the first half with a 7-0 run. The Cardinals outscored Mission 17-5. Sophomore center Bruce Quan led the team in scoring with seven points.
The third quarter was filled with excellent play on both sides, proving that the two teams deserved to be playing in the semi-final game. The Cardinals continued putting pressure on the Bears who were a little sloppier on the defensive side, committing many fouls. With 3:38 left, the Cardinals still led, this time by 10 points, 35-25. But then the Bears began to mount a comeback. With 1:54 to go, Mission had the momentum, only trailing by six. With a steal and a layup by the Bears, the Mission fans erupted and the tides changed. In the final minute, the game was back and forth filled with turnovers. At the buzzer, the Bears scored a layup and the third quarter ended with the Cardinals just barely leading 37-35. Both Carpenter and sophomore center Antonio Hughes scored a team quarter-high four points.
After a back and forth last quarter, the Bears were able to pull out a 52-47 victory. This was in part to turnovers and too many fouls by the Cardinals — Mission was able to score many of its fourth quarter points from free throws. The Cardinals, similar to the first quarter, were unable to get defensive rebounds, allowing the Bears extra shots and consequently more opportunities to score. As the intensity rose, Mission led 43-41 with 3:24 to go. But then the Cardinals fouled and the Bears made two out of three free throws, boosting their lead to 45-41. But the Cardinals had not given up yet. Carpenter drew a foul and made both his free throws to make the score 45-43. With 1:43 to go, after a Mission layup, Carpenter responded with his own two pointer, making the score 47-45 Bears. A clutch three pointer from Mission put the Cardinals down by five with 1:15 to go. After that, the Cardinals were unable to get closer than three points away and the game slipped away with a final score of 52-47 Mission. Carpenter lead the team in scoring with six points in the final seven minutes of the game.
The main problems the Cards had were giving up too many offensive rebounds, not getting enough defensive rebounds and turning the ball over too much. “It was a tough loss,” head coach Travis Hom said. “We played well. We needed to slow the ball down a bit more and in the fourth we let it slip away.”
The Cardinals' field goal percentage was 45%, making 19 out of 42 shots. Carpenter lead the team with 16 points. Yu added 12, Quan had 9 and Hughes had 8.
The Cardinals defeated Mission 61-47 in the regular season game, after another disappointing loss to them in the semi-final last season. The Bears will face the Washington Eagles in the championship on Feb. 25 at Kezar.
Though the season ended on a bitter note, the Cardinals have much to look forward to. With a new coach and new style, the boys’ frosh-soph basketball team has many promising years ahead.