Boys’ Basketball Win on Senior Night

Varsity boys’ basketball took the victory against Chino 59-50 on Senior Night Friday, Feb. 12.

Forward senior Dwight Ramos led the Mustangs by scoring a total of 13 points, while shooting guard senior Jordan Montenegro racked up 12 points, snatching five rebounds and taking four steals. Center junior Eric Song finished with 10 points and four rebounds.

“We heard that [Chino] beat Diamond Ranch, so we really wanted to prove ourselves today. We came out and we really wanted to just smash them,” point guard junior Ryan Dai said. “Since it’s Senior Night, we really wanted to make it a special night for our seniors.”

The Mustangs took an early but tight lead over the Cowboys 10-9 in the first quarter, catching eight total rebounds and committing four fouls. In the first four minutes of the second quarter, the Mustangs went on an 11-0 run to stretch its lead 21-9.

“We played defense pretty well during the first quarter, which led us to a pretty big lead, and then that transitioned to good offense,” Song said. “After that, we slid down a little bit on defense, and they caught up a little, but we stuck together and won the game.”

Walnut stepped up its defense by restraining the Cowboys to five points scored in the remaining four minutes of the second quarter. The Mustangs dribbled out the clock during the last minute of the quarter, bringing the first half to a lead of 28-14.

“A lot of our confidence came from Coach [Khouzam]. Before the game, he’s just hyping us up and telling us we can do this, we’re a good team,” Song said. “He said that if we stay together and pass the ball around, ‘16 as one’ will become a team effort.”

In the third quarter, the Mustangs lost momentum on their offense as they mishandled the ball, allowing the Cowboys to steal the ball several times and score a total of 20 points by the end of the quarter. Walnut scored 17 points, but still maintained a lead of 11 points as they went in the fourth quarter.

“I think we played a great defense game, and we looked at the post a lot more, which is why we ended up winning,” shooting guard junior Tom Zou said. “It wasn’t a great offense game, but defensively, it worked out.”

The Cowboys managed to go on a 10-3 run in the last six minutes of the game, leaving a gap of only four points between the two teams. The Mustangs pushed the offensive line and shot for 11 more points, finishing the game 59-50.

“Offensively, it’s not our best, because we’ve had games where we scored 80, and defensive games where we’ve held teams to 20,” shooting guard sophomore Dane Johannsen said. “There were a couple times where we had lapses where we just stood and waited for the ball. We can be better, and I expect us to be better, because we’re a good team. “But I think we did good, made senior night filled with lots of emotions, and it turned out for the best.”

Written by Jessica Huang, Staff Writer

Photo by Cynthia Lu