Boys varsity basketball falls to Wootton


Photo by Sanir Byanjankar

Christion Wright shoots at the line two free throws after getting fouled during a layup. Wright went on to score nine points in the game against Wootton.

The Wildcats boys’ basketball team suffered a tough loss Friday night against the Wootton Patriots 74-55. WJ trailed throughout the game. Seniors Blake Bailey, Christion Wright and Irad Zilberman, along with juniors Ian Hochman and Namori Omog, started the game.
In the first quarter, the Wildcats were able to compete with the Patriots, not letting them gain too much of a lead. It was clear Wootton had great shooters, they were making contested outside shots and finding open players down low. They led by four points at the end of the first quarter, 15-11.

On offense, we had too many empty possessions and not a great shot selection. For this team to develop I feel like we need to start trusting each other and not playing as individuals.

— junior Ben Kim

Both teams started playing an aggressive man-to-man defense in the second quarter. The intensity led to both teams getting slapped with six fouls and shooting one-and-one free throws. With five minutes left in the second quarter, the Wildcats tied it up to 15-15. But open three-pointers and multiple free throws allowed the Patriots to gain a 17-point lead to end the second quarter 38-21.
The third quarter started out strong for WJ as Wright made one of two free throws and Omog followed his miss with a three-pointer. The momentum didn’t last. The Wildcats tried to drive into the paint but were not able to finish. Wootton was pushing the ball down the court quickly and was able to get easy layups. The score was 52-33 at the end of the third.
“Some of the problems in the game were our really bad shooting and getting beat on rebounds. Wootton is a strong team and it’s good we had that test early to help us improve in the long run,” Hochman said.
The Patriots opened the fourth quarter on fire. They scored 12 in the first two minutes of the quarter. WJ answered with a pesky press, which led to multiple turnovers, but they could not close the gap.
“We came out with confidence but none of our shots were falling, it’s a part of the sport. We are working on executing better and converting shots while being more disciplined,” Zilberman said.