Tough triumph


Chris Barnett

Cameron Nisbet, forward, goes up for the lay-in against Oakville, Jan 27.

The Boys Varsity Basketball Team toughed out a close win over the Oakville Tigers, 50-45, Jan. 27.

After a back-and-forth first quarter, the Wildcats clung to a three-point lead, 13-10.

“We were moving the ball well,” Luke Orso, guard, said. “We just really played as a team.”

The second quarter was almost a copy of the first quarter as the Wildcats outscored the Tigers, 12-10, extending their lead, 25-20, at the half.

The Wildcats focused on defense and their offensive game plan at the half.

“We talked about, defensively, keeping them out of the paint,” Mr. Brad DeMattei, assistant coach, said. “Offensively, we were just trying to stay patient and avoid a track meet kind of game.”

The Wildcats did avoid the rapid back and forth of possession and succeed in slowing down the game.

The Tigers closed the gap to three, heading to the fourth quarter, outscoring the Wildcats in the third quarter, 13-11, cutting the lead, 36-33.

“They didn’t really do anything different,” Orso said. “We were playing into their game instead of doing our own thing.”

The scores stayed pretty even throughout the fourth quarter, until Oakville cut the lead to one, 46-45, with just over 21 seconds remaining.

“We were just trying to play solid defense,” Orso said. “We were trying to stay patient on offense too.”

After an Oakville miss, Conner Walden, guard, pulled down a rebound and was fouled with 18.5 ticks left on the clock.

Walden hit one of two free throws to extend the lead, 47-45.

After a missed three from the Tigers on the other end, Nisbet pulled down an important board and was fouled with 5.0 seconds left.

After making the first free throw and missing the second, the ball was batted out of the paint and fell into the lap of Orso who was fouled and hit both free throws, ending the game, 50-45.

“We handled their pressure well,” Coach DeMattei said. “We also did a good job of keeping them in front of us on defense.”

The Wildcats kept it close but were always in control. They never trailed and were only tied before anyone scored, despite never leading by double digits.

“We came in with the mindset that we were better than Oakville,” Orso said. “We knew we could beat them.”

The Wildcats next game will be at home against Lindbergh, Jan. 30.