Men’s Basketball surges past De La Salle and California


Teju Anand

Senior Robert Beasley shoots a free throw after a foul by De La Salle. The Wildcats shot free throws at a very high percentage, a major factor in their victory over the Spartans.

On Jan. 14, the Wildcats defeated the mighty De La Salle Spartans 71-65 at home, empowering the crowd to continuously chant “This is our house!” towards the end of the game.

DV set the tone for an aggressive attack on De La Salle’s stingy defense right in the first quarter. Wildcat senior Robby Beasley started the game with a floater shot followed by two three-pointers. Senior Donovan Sevilla also added a three-pointer of his own along with two free throws off a foul. DV maintained a narrow 17-15 lead at the end of the quarter.

“Our level of practice is so competitive, and we just have a really tight bond. So, we get into these tight games. A lot of our games comes in crunch time. We win these games by close margins,” senior Beasley mentioned, regarding DV playing close games.

The Wildcats increased the tempo of the game with junior Aidan Sevilla’s two free throws and three-point jump shot. In fact, Beasley’s freshman brother Ryan Beasley made all four free throw attempts and ended the half in style with a quick steal and layup. In addition, senior Sai Ramadas displayed great passing ability and even shot a mid-range jump shot. This powered DV to a 36-26 lead over the Spartans at halftime.

“This year, our senior leadership is much better as compared to last year, and we gel together as a team. And we work really well at a team. The environment during practice, in the locker room, and in games, is a lot better. The fact that we are all close, it just helps us on the court,” junior Sevilla said, about teamwork.

The third quarter featured senior college-committed athlete Beasley catching fire by scoring 12 points in just one quarter. These shots consisted of two layups, two three-pointers and a fade away shot. Junior Jacoby Lacey also contributed a layup and close-up shot of his own to maintain DV’s 52-41 lead over De La Salle.

“Our core, Rob, Donovan, Aiden contribute all the time. But Sai was very good, and Jacoby. That was Jacoby’s best game all year. Came off the bench, got us some buckets, and gave us some big rebounds late.”, Coach Hansen said, about key contributions in the game.

Despite the Spartan’s rally in the fourth quarter, the Wildcats held on to their lead. Junior Sevilla hit a clutch deep 3-pointer, followed by Lacey’s two free throws off a foul. This increased the Wildcat lead to 70-62 with only 35.1 seconds remaining on the clock. This forced the Spartans to play the foul game and attempt 3-pointers. However, the Wildcats held off the Spartans in a 71-65 victory.

“We scored. We put up 70 on De La Salle. That doesn’t happen very often. We put the ball in the basket, which always helps, and defensively, we had a game plan that worked. We stuck to it, and we executed it. I think we were pretty good at both ends,” Coach Hansen claimed.

On Jan. 17, the Wildcats trounced EBAL rival California Grizzlies, 72-53, to win their fifth consecutive league game and move up to a 15-2 overall record, despite resting senior Beasley for the night.

After a slow start to the game with multiple California rebounds in a row, junior Sevilla got the offense started with a steal and layup, three-pointer and a blocked shot of his own. Later in the first quarter, Lacey made three consecutive layups to jumpstart the Wildcats to a 14-7 lead.

“Even without [Robby], we had guys stepping up. Aidan stepped it up. Jacoby stepped it up a lot. Me and Robby’s little brother Ryan had to do our part, step it up on the scoring end. All of us had 15+. That really helped,” senior Sevilla described the roles of the team without senior Beasley, who suffered a minor leg injury against De La Salle.

The second quarter showcased the sound chemistry between senior Sevilla and freshman Beasley. While Sevilla scored two 3-pointers and 3 free throws, Beasley made a layup and two free throws of his own. He also had a marvelous assist to Sevilla for a layup. The Grizzlies’ defense struggled to find answers to the Wildcat offense, giving DV a 36-21 lead at halftime.

“[My teammates] really stepped it up. Ryan was going crazy and hard. Donovan was doing all the shots. Aidan was really comfortable. We had a lot of energy. When you have guys like that working together, it feels pretty good to watch it,” senior Beasley mentioned about his teammates’ splendid performance.

As the second half began, the Wildcats passing and shooting went on a roll. The entire starting lineup was firing on all cylinders, along with valuable contributions from the bench. Lacey stole the limelight with a dunk, followed by a missed dunk but successful layup to entertain the crowd. With the Grizzlies’ three-point shooting struggling, the Wildcats took a massive 65-33 lead at the end of third quarter to effectively wrap-up the game.

“We just didn’t want to lose to our rival cause last year we lost to Cal at home. We took that personal. We took that like ‘You know, these guys are not better than us’. We are gonna go beat them by 30,” Donovan commented about the team’s determination against their EBAL rival.

Freshman Beasley began the last quarter with a three-pointer to add to California’s woes. Soon enough, Coach Hansen decided to pull out starters and give the bench opportunities. Eventually, the Wildcats pulled off a blowout 72-53 victory over the Grizzlies.

“Without Robby, we had to pick it up on the offensive end. We came out slow, but we slowly picked it up. We got everyone involved. We had four guys score above 14 points,” junior Sevilla mentioned in summary of the blowout win.

The Wildcats will next play EBAL rivals Monte Vista Mustangs at home on Jan. 31 to continue their dominant push for an EBAL and NCS title.

“Step 1 is to win the league, so we got to keep worrying about what’s next in front of us. You have to just keep winning the next game in front of you,” Coach Hansen mentioned, regarding team future goals.