Scoring the final shot

Hanna Suarez, Editor-in-Chief

The varsity boys basketball team came up short 67-73 against the Rancho Cucamonga Cougars during the first round of CIF on Friday, Feb. 17, in the Downey gym. The Vikings struggled in the first half, but attempted to come back in the third and fourth quarter, dragging the Cougars into overtime after a tiebreaker by shooting guard Garrett Neilan.

There was not much movement in the first quarter as, both teams seemed to be caught in a funk. Although there was a mixture of adrenaline and excitement, the teams could not change the numbers on the scoreboard. The Cougars soon took the lead in the second period, leaving the Vikings behind by ten points. However, the varsity team did not let Rancho keep up, and fought back with their offense to bring the score level before the second half.

Despite the Vikings’ solid defense and strong offense, the Cougars were never far behind, and caught up every time Downey made a move.  Early in the second half, after the teams were tied 26-26, the Vikings made their attempt to lead, scoring penalty shots and three-pointers until the end of the third quarter, leaving the scoreboard reading 37-33.

“I felt like the team looked too far ahead,” Neilan said. “We were overconfident and we didn’t come prepared.”

The energy did not last for long; the start of the fourth quarter brought  the Cougars up to a three point advantage, which continued to grow throughout the remainder of the game.

Senior shooting guard Anthony Jack describes how the team felt during the game:

“We started the game excited and full of adrenaline, but toward the end of the game we were all tired and feeling fatigued,” Jack said.

Unfortunately, the exhaustion paid a price, leaving the Vikings with a six point set back during overtime. Though the struggle lasted and the crowd was pumped up, the Vikings could not defeat Rancho Cucamanga like they expected.

“We expected to win by a lot actually,” Jack said. “It hit me really hard, for a lot of us it was our last game.”

The varsity team fought hard, making great strides to get to CIF. Now with the season over, the team can only learn from their mistakes in order for each individual to succeed in the future.