The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Boys’ basketball slips past Whitman

Senior Guard Isaiah Nickelson shoots the game-sealing free throw in the Wildcats win over Whitman.
William Murphy
Senior Guard Isaiah Nickelson shoots the game-sealing free throw in the Wildcats’ win over Whitman.

The Wildcats battled against the Whitman Vikings on Friday, Feb. 9, and managed to come away with a 64-58 victory in front of the home crowd.

The Wildcats failed to follow up their win against Whitman, losing 58-37 versus Quince Orchard on Tuesday, Feb. 13 but recovered with a 62-54 win against Churchill on Friday, Feb. 16. The team next plays Seneca Valley on Tuesday, Feb. 20 in their last game of the regular season.

Against rival Whitman, WJ came out with energy as the team was sprinting around the court, making the right plays at the right times. Senior Tyrese Rucker sparked a three from near the logo, which got the home crowd hype into the game early.

Pressure was mounted upon Whitman as the Cats forced multiple steals that turned into transition buckets for Seniors Daniel Kenvo and Ben Kim. The defensive style WJ played seemed to rattle Whitman as their offense could not produce many scores, with the Cats leading 35-25 into the half.

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Out of the half, WJ continued to work the clock and score efficiently. The Cats had a clean game in terms of keeping possession as this was a huge factor in their high-functioning offense.

“Whitman works well at getting shots when the game speeds up, which happens when there are turnovers, so it was really important to control the ball,” senior Ian Hochman said.

Senior guard Theo Maisel had one of the greatest plays this season, as the savvy guard went coast to coast past defenders for the reverse layup while also getting the and one call. The student section erupted after the play as all momentum continued to sway with the Cats, leading 48-39.

The Cats did not give up their lead starting in the late second quarter but continued to the end of the game. Their point cushion propelled them to continue to play their brand of basketball without worrying about becoming too offensive or defensive based.

“We were able to maintain our energy and composure whenever Whitman started a run, and were able to get to the rim and draw fouls when needed,” senior Ian McClain said.

Although Whitman had a late surge of three-pointers to make it a close game, the Cats forced the Vikings to foul continuously which cemented the win.

Unsurprisingly, Rucker has continued to stack up highlight plays throughout the season with multiple dunks and impressive shots. Further, he almost ended the game effectively with a dunk that rimmed out of the basket. Rucker plans on adding another one to the highlights with the games winding down.

“There’s definitely a windmill coming soon,” Rucker said.

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Mateus Bouquet, Print Sports Editor
Junior Mateus Bouquet is extremely excited to get started in his first year with the Pitch as a Sports Editor. Along with writing for the pitch, Mateus is a huge football fan and his weekly mood is based on how the Commanders played.
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