by ERICA SUH
Varsity cagers end season with 53-37 loss to the Tustin Tillers in the first round of CIF Southern Section Playoffs.
The Spartans finished with an overall record of 14-12. In league, the team finished 7-3, placing second.
The cagers defeated the Alhambra Moors Feb. 13 with a score of 53-43. The game was closely contested throughout the first half, with both teams responding to each other with key plays and baskets.
“I feel like we have a good chance at this game; being [the] underdogs, hopefully we can pull an upset,” said co-captain Kyle Mangubat. “We plan on winning, as long as we listen to our coaches and give a hundred percent effort every other game.”
The Spartans trailed the Moors throughout the first half. However, the Spartans grabbed a slight advantage at the end of the quarter, shortening the Moor’s lead to 31-25.
At the start of the third quarter, the cagers increased ball movement and made key plays, allowing the team to shorten the lead. With three minutes left in the third quarter, senior Cesar Trujillo scored, allowing the Spartans to take the lead for the first time in the game. At the end of the quarter, junior Axel Vasquez took a charging foul, increasing Spartan momentum and propelling them into the final quarter with a five-point lead.
In the fourth quarter, the Spartans maintained their lead over the Moors. Vasquez scored a crucial three pointer with five minutes left in the game. The Spartans won, 53-43.
“We played very solid the whole game overall,” said co-captain Cesar Trujillo. “We are tightening our defense up and working on minimizing the amount of points they [opponents] will score in the paint.”
The Spartans fell short against the Mark Keppel Aztecs Feb. 10, losing 59-38.
On Homecoming Feb. 6, the Spartans defeated the San Gabriel Matadors in a tight game, 58-41. The cagers outscored the opposition by 17 points in the final quarter, ending the game, 58-41.
Concluding the season with a record of 4-6, the JV cagers placed fourth in league.
During their last game of the season, the Spartans trailed the Moors at the end of the first half Feb. 13, 25-14. The cagers nearly caught up by the end of the third quarter, but fell short, losing the game, 50-48.
Regaining the title of champions, the freshmen cagers finished league with an undefeated record of 10-0. They secured the title Feb. 13, with a final win against the Alhambra Moors, 49-42.
At the end of the first quarter, the Spartans were down by four points. In the second quarter, the Spartans stepped up their offense and regained the lead.
When the first half ended, both teams had over ten team fouls. The Spartans kept their lead in the second half and won the game, 49-42.
“Our season was great with Coach Martinez and going undefeated was an awesome way to end the year,” said freshman Gabriel Aguirre. “A great way to end season.”
*UPDATE: Varsity cagers end season with 53-37 loss to the Tustin Tillers in the first round of CIF Southern Section Playoffs. (02/20/15-9:50 p.m.)