Boys’ Basketball sweeps Diamond Bar

Varsity boys’ basketball defeated Diamond Bar 63-48 Monday, Jan. 4 as visitors. Frosh basketball defeated the Brahmas 47-36, and junior varsity won 69-47.

“Definitely, in the start, all of the team members were feeling the energy and emotion from both Walnut and Diamond Bar crowds, but it caused us to rush and not play our game in the start. Coach helped us settle down at the half where we began to pull away afterwards, calm down, and just trust each other on the court, which ultimately helped get us the win,” point guard sophomore Adam Ng said.

Forward senior Dwight Ramos led the Mustangs with a double-double, scoring 31 points on 11-21 shooting, grabbing 10 rebounds and getting three steals. Point guard junior Ryan Dai tallied five points, four rebounds, three assists, two blocks and five steals. Team-wise, Walnut struggled from deep, going 2-12 the entire game.

The Mustangs’ offense started off slow in the first as they shot 2-10 from the floor and 5-8 from the charity stripe. On defense, the Mustangs gave up 11 points and committed four fouls. In turn, the Brahmas led at the end of the first, 9-11.

“[Coach Khouzam] told us that we locked down on defense, but we need to play better on offense. The Brahmas got hot early with good shots, got the momentum early and we needed to take it back,” small forward senior Anthony Robison said. “We needed to start playing better and run our plays correctly.”

Center junior Eric Song and Dwight gave the Mustangs their first lead of the game with four early points, putting them up 13-11 at the start of the second. Walnut continued its offensive streak by going on a 10-3 run from the 5:02 to 1:09 mark. Eventually, the Brahmas retaliated with three points of their own, but the Mustangs ended the half with a 25-21 lead.

“During the first quarter we didn’t have the momentum and didn’t shoot that well,” center senior Michael Munguia said. “However, in the second we started to get better shots, and we played [together]. I didn’t expect us to be down that early. It was tough, but we were able to stick it out and regain the lead.”

In the third quarter, Walnut went on a 9-2 run for two minutes and 29 seconds. Dwight and comboguard freshman Eli Ramos led the way, combining for 13 of the team’s 16 third-quarter points. Defensively, the Mustangs held the Brahmas to 10 points and forced them into committing seven fouls. At the end, the Mustangs led by double figures, 41-31.

“In the first quarter, we had a lot of energy, but we started slowing down. In the second, we turned it around as we started to play better and get better looks,” power forward senior Alan Wong said. “After halftime, we started to settle down and began running our offense. The ball moved a little better, and we began to get more momentum.”

As the fourth quarter rolled on, the Mustangs earned a 16-point lead, their largest of the game. Late in the quarter, both teams started to trade baskets and the Brahmas were able to cut down the deficit back to 10. However, Walnut closed the game out 63-48.

“We need to do better on running our offense, grabbing boards, setting screens and not losing mental focus,” Munguia said. “In the game, we weren’t running our plays, which resulted in Dwight isos [isolations], which led him to go on one-on-one the whole. If we want to play better we got to start working the ball around to get shots up more fluidly.”

All three boys’ basketball teams will play Salesian High School at home Wednesday, Jan. 6.

By Joshua Shen, Sports editor

Photos by Aaron Yong, Vivian Lee and Jeffrey Tran