Photo by Richard Gomez
Boys’ basketball was overwhelmed in their preseason matchup against the Glendale Nitros on Wednesday, November 14. The Tiger’s senior-heavy lineup was unable to recover from the Nitros’ first-quarter onslaught, ultimately falling by a score of 71-38.
The Nitros jumped out to an early 13-0 advantage; the lead made possible by sloppy Tiger defense and offense. South Pas failed to make their first defensive stop until halfway through the quarter, as Glendale’s big men overpowered the post and were clinical from range, shooting over their smaller Tiger defenders. Nonetheless, the Tigers displayed excellent ball movement and asserted themselves as the more fundamentally sound team, but could not find their finishing touch. Freshman Jay Yuien “JJ” Kim was aggressive off the glass and secured two offensive rebounds. The first quarter concluded with the score 23-6 in Glendale’s favor, as the Tigers shot a poor 21% from the field.
The second quarter was much of the same, and the Nitros expanded their lead by as much as 22 halfway through the quarter. However, a step back three by senior captain Ryan Chuang and a quick steal and finish by senior Kai Jones rejuvenated the Tigers and the home crowd. Even with their shooting woes, much of the Tiger strategy continued to rely on the three ball, but the team was able to pick up several buckets by following up their missed shots with an easy lay in. Nonetheless, the first half concluded 39-20, as the Tigers entered the locker room searching for an answer to what seemed to be an unguardable Glendale offense.
Coming out of the locker room, coach Ryan Lee opted to go small: the Tigers shifted their gameplan to be much quicker paced, exploiting fast breaks almost every possession in the third quarter. Although successful at first, the Tigers were unable to generate substantial momentum as Glendale quickly countered small ball with small ball in order to maintain their comfortable lead. However, junior Alan Quan was able to utilize his strength against his weaker Nitro counterpart and provided the bulk of the offense with 7 third-quarter points. Quan would finish the evening with a Tiger high 16 points. In order to contain the junior power forward, the Nitros reverted back to their starting lineup, stifling the Tiger offense for the remainder of the night.
Instead of trying their luck outside the arc, the Tigers began to drive more to the basket in the final period. Senior Louis Jamerson grabbed a board over the Nitro center and used his speed to take it coast to coast. The fearless drives, although awarded a few times with two free shots, often ended up being blocked by the towering Nitros. With the game coming to a close, the Nitros continued to rain threes, and stretched their already large lead to a game-high 34. A bright spot in the quarter was senior Jack Gordon, who showed off his handles and sharp shooting offensively, exhibiting the creativity the Tigers lacked most of the evening.
Although the Tiger defense remained fairly solid throughout, there were times when defensive openings gave the Nitros an easy two points. The team was hesitant in pulling the trigger from deep early in the shot clock and were forced multiple times to chuck up low percentage shots due to the shot clock. However, the senior-heavy starting lineup for the most of the night displayed unselfish and gritty basketball, zipping passes left and right and diving after loose balls.
Boys’ basketball will partake in non-league tournaments the next few weeks in preparation for the remainder of their preseason. The next preseason game will commence Wednesday, December 12 at home against the Flintridge Prep Rebels.