American fails to execute as planned during early-season game

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Senior Jordan Frierson jumps to block a shot during the game against Livermore on December 8, 2015. American’s inability to pull through with their planned defense cost them the game. “We played with a lot of effort; we just need to work on execution,” Leung said. (PC Sarah Jensen)

Sarah Jensen

Staff Writer

    American’s Varsity Boys Basketball team lost 39-70 to Livermore on December 8, 2015 in the American High School gym. The game started strong but quickly grew messy as American’s team consistently lagged at around half of Livermore’s score.

    In the first quarter, American scored two baskets right off the bat, but Livermore caught up quickly. Livermore’s streak continued, and as the game went on, American’s spirits visibly declined. American continually missed shots, while Livermore continued to score.

    “Their two starting guards are really good shooters, and our plan was not to help off another ball, so if another dude [teammate] drived, we weren’t supposed to leave them,” senior Nicholas Callan said. “It ended up we did leave them to come help, and they would kick out and hit threes on us, and they ran up the score fairly quickly.”

    By halftime, American was behind 18-32. The game picked up considerably in the third quarter as American pulled ahead to 32 points by the end of the third quarter. But Livermore kept playing strong, reaching 55 points at the same time.

    “We didn’t execute like we were supposed to,” Callan said. “We had a game plan up on the board before the game, and we just didn’t run like we were supposed to.”

    In the final quarter, Livermore scored 11 more points, while American was unable to score at all. With 3 minutes and 32 seconds left on the clock, American called a fast time-out to rally themselves for the final stretch.

    American scored another 7 baskets that quarter, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the wide gap in scores. Towards the very end of the game, American began flagging in defense again, allowing Livermore to score another pair of baskets and finishing the game at 39-70.

    “It was frustrating with the score, but we’re trained and coached to give it our all, so we’re okay,” junior Matthew Leung said.

    Several players and coaches were frustrated by the way the game played out, but the early-season loss is not a major setback for the team. Coach Ed Villatoro spoke about their strategy with regards to the earliness of the game.

    “There’s not a lot of strategy going on in these early games, it’s really just getting game experience for us and getting as many players in the game that we can,” Villatoro said.

    With the right execution, American’s Varsity Boys team can overcome this early season loss and surge ahead in the season.

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