Men’s Varsity Basketball hopes to clench the Ocean League title

By Jacob Polacheck (’17) 

The SDJA Men’s Varsity Basketball team defeated Del Lago Academy last Tuesday by a score of 63-31, continuing their run at a third consecutive Ocean League title. The team was without Ivan Fang (‘17), Carmelo Xia (‘17), and Max Feinswog (‘17) but were still able to coast to an easy victory. “We did a great job,” said Associate Head Coach Ilan Graubart, “it was a great team win and hopefully we can carry this momentum we have.”

With the final stretch of the season upcoming, the Lions have hopes of continuing their incredible run. With four straight wins, the Lions are heating up at just the right time to make a run in playoffs. “We’re playing great but we can’t get ahead of ourselves, we still have a long way to go,” said Sam Deverett (‘17).

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Sam Deverett (’17) leads the team in concentrated warmups before a tough game on the court. Photo: Alex Hansen (’17)

This great run has set the Lions up for a great chance at another league title with a solid CIF-San Diego Section Power Ranking. Last season, the Lions were a #16 seed in the playoffs but this season they are sure to be seeded much higher.

The Lions were faced with a challenge early in the game Tuesday when captain Jordan Battaglia (‘17) was forced to the bench with a dislocated finger. However, after sitting momentarily, Battaglia returned to the game in the second quarter and helped give the Lions a  double-digit lead at halftime. “Coach Shoemaker put my finger back in place and I was ready to get back in the game,” said Jordan, “there was no way I was missing the rest of that game.”

After a strong first quarter that put the Lions up by 15 points, the team leveled off, allowing Del Lago to come back and stay in the game. “At halftime, we knew we had to come out strong to win this game, the momentum shifted our way in the second half,” said Sam Deverett (‘17).

With an exceptional third quarter, the Lions pulled away to finish with a dominant 32-point win. The biggest game of the season awaits, as the Lions are playing their best basketball of the year. As shooting guard Cody Brown (‘17) said, “After this win, we’re certainly cruising to victory.”

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