Men’s Basketball dominates season but falls to Dublin

Ronit Kumar, Sports Editor

DV Men’s Basketball dominated the East Bay Athletic League regular season with an 11-2 league record and 22-4 overall record. They were referred to as the second-best team in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Chronicle.

On Jan. 31, the Wildcats celebrated the return of star senior Robby Beasley with a 60-55 edge over the Monte Vista Mustangs at home after a valiant fourth-quarter comeback. 

Despite Robby Beasley’s return, the Wildcats started slower than usual as the Mustangs led 13-12 at the end of first quarter. The Mustangs stuck with the Wildcats on the scoreboard and even took a 51-47 lead late in the fourth quarter. After Lacey’s layup, the crowd cheered wildly when freshman Ryan Beasley swished a 3-pointer to give DV a 52-51 lead. Senior Beasley, who scored a team-high 18 points, displayed superior play making by dodging defenders and making a layup to solidify the Wildcat lead. Ultimately, the Wildcats held on, sticking together as a team for a close 60-55 victory.

“We capitalized on our moments and stopped them when we needed to,” senior Justin Neri said.

After an 80-62 road victory at California, the Wildcats increased their winning streak to 15 and clinched the EBAL Mountain Division title by defeating the San Ramon Wolves 72-62 in their Feb. 7 senior night game.

With a large, packed gym and roaring crowd full of DV parents, students and staff, the Wildcats displayed their full team chemistry and shooting abilities. Donovan Sevilla powered DV off to a solid start with 13 of his team-high 24 points dropping in the first quarter itself. He drilled in three 3-pointers, a layup and a fade away shot. With solid contributions from Aidan Sevilla, Lacey, Robby Beasley and Sai Ramadas, the Wildcats pulled far away by the fourth quarter, leading the Wolves 59-38. In light of senior night, Coach Hansen substituted seniors into the game with four minutes remaining in fourth quarter. Despite some late faltering, the Wildcats held on for the 72-62 win.

“It was exciting scoring 13 in the first quarter. The crowd was really into it. It was senior night. It was a situation that brought lots of excitement, so, of course, I was very happy to have that outcome,” Donovan Sevilla said.

However, the Wildcats lost momentum after the De La Salle Spartans snapped their 15-game winning streak with a 60-51 victory over DV at Concord on Feb. 11. Two days later, the Wildcats lost 82-52 on the road to rival Dublin Gaels, who drew a rematch with the Wildcats in the EBAL Championship Game after earning the Valley Division title.

Unlike most of the season, the Wildcats fell into a huge deficit early in the game. The night continued to worsen when Robby Beasley went down with a knee injury.

The Gaels dominated the entire game due to uncharacteristic shooting and passing mistakes by the Wildcats. Eventually, the Gaels cruised to an 82-52 win over the Wildcats. This was only DV’s second blowout loss of the season.

“We went over there. We lose Rob two minutes into the game. It was a sort of emotional moment — a shell shock — [for our guys],” Coach Hansen said. “Second half, we came out and without Rob, we just weren’t emotionally right.”

On Feb. 15, the DVHS large gym was again crowded with parents, students and staff from both DV and Dublin. Honoring the rivalry, both sides passionately cheered for their team at the EBAL championship, and some Dublin fans even showed up with “Beat DV” posters. Though Robby Beasley was out with an injury, he actively pumped up his team from the sideline. In the double overtime thriller, the Wildcats lost to the rival Gaels, 90-73, at their home playoff game.

The first half largely proceeded smoothly for the Wildcats. Compared to the previous matchup, the home side played better on both sides of the court, putting on a solid defense while making more plays to the rim and shooting more accurately. This left the halftime score at 25-21, DV leading. 

Dublin came out more strongly in the second half, taking a 59-49 lead by the middle of the fourth quarter. Then, the Wildcats mounted an amazing comeback, drawing several fouls and making all of their free throws, with Ryan Beasley making all 16 of his free throws in the game. With the score tied at 65-65 and 5 seconds remaining in regulation, Dublin attempted a layup and missed. 

As the game went to its first four-minute overtime, both teams held each other scoreless for the first two minutes. Donovan Sevilla drove for a layup, but Dublin responded with a layup of their own. The first overtime ended with the two teams tied at a thrilling 71-71 scoreline.

In the second overtime, the Wildcats shooting went cold as their only points came from Aidan Sevilla’s two free throws, in comparison to Dublin’s 19 points. Ultimately, the Wildcats suffered a heartbreaking loss to Dublin, 90-73.

“There are plays in the game I want back, I’m sure everyone does. However, we played our hearts out. In terms of effort, we gave it our all,” Donovan Sevilla said. “There’s nothing more I can say about the game other than they made more plays than us in the second overtime, and that allowed them to win.”

On Jan. 20, the Wildcats ended their season with an 86-60 loss to Bishop O’Dowd at a neutral NCS playoff game.