American crushed by intimidation

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Vignesh Chandrasekaran (11) moves to pass, surrounded by three Moreau players. American’s Varsity Boys basketball team lost 37-82 to Moreau on January 22, 2016. “We just wanted to come out and play hard, but we didn’t execute,” Jordan Frierson (12) said. 

 

Varsity Boys’ Basketball falls to Moreau, 37-82

Sarah Jensen

Staff Writer

    American’s Varsity Boys’ Basketball team lost 37-82 to Moreau Catholic in a home game on January 22, 2016. After a rough first half, American picked up their execution in the second half of the game, but not enough to overcome Moreau’s lead.

    The game kicked off with a basket by Moreau twenty seconds into the game. After three minutes of Moreau scoring fairly consistently and American struggling to get a basket, American called the first time-out of the game. American’s situation did not improve from here, with Moreau continuing to score steadily, one player even dunking a few times. By the end of the first quarter, American was down 6 points to Moreau’s 28.

    “I feel like we came out into the game really scared,” player Ganesh Chendica (11) said. “Post-practice we’ve been saying we’re ready for this game, and coaches have been telling us that they believe in us too, and we’re ready, but once we came out into the game we’ve been more intimidated than we actually thought we were.”

    Offensively, American performed slightly better in the second quarter, which ended with a score of 17 to 54, in Moreau’s favor. By passing the ball cross-court almost all the way down, American was able to break through Moreau’s defenses better than before. But holes in their own defense gave Moreau opportunities.

    “We were playing defense, but we weren’t playing well in transition, so they got a lot of easy fastbreak layups,” Jordan Frierson (12) explained. “And then the score started to build.”

    According to Chendica, American’s team spent its halftime “getting ripped” by the coaches.

    “We all were told that we haven’t been playing like this in a long time, and it’s not us, and we have to keep our composure and not keep our heads down,” Chendica said. “Once we kept our heads up and started executing better we started getting positives in our game.”

    The third quarter began with the Eagles scoring more points than Moreau, though the latter soon passed them in per-quarter scoring. American played with more conviction, moving with confidence and diving to save balls, but Moreau ceaselessly interrupted their attempts to pass the ball or drive. Despite American’s heightened efforts plus successes at re-recovering the ball this quarter, the score reached 28 to 78 with Moreau leading.

    “Towards the end we had our moments where we played good defense, but it was really inconsistent, so they kept building the score,” Frierson said. “It was already out of reach by then.”

    In the fourth quarter, American all but gave up on retrieving rebounds, instead heading right back across the court as the taller Moreau players caught their shots. Finally scoring more than Moreau in the final quarter, American was still unable to bridge the third quarter’s fifty-point gap, ending the game 37-82.

     “We wanted to go out and just compete, make sure we made our team known to the league, [show] that we can compete with the higher-edge teams in this league,” David Lee (11) said. “I felt like we were well-prepared, but we just didn’t execute.”

    The players and coaches had initially seen the match against Moreau as a challenge. Coach Ed Villatoro had expressed the hope that American “would go out there and accept the challenge and compete.”

    “Moreau’s one of the top teams in the entire state, and we knew it was gonna be a tough task for us,” Villatoro said. “But coming out of it after the game, I feel like our team could’ve done better.”

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