Isaiah Freedman senior sports consultant
In their first league game of the season, the boys varsity basketball team demolished the Hawthorne Cougars to the tune of a 72-17 beatdown, moving them to 1-0 in Ocean League.
The Normans started rolling immediately. On the first possession of the game, center Ron Artest III tipped the ball to guard Kevin Cho, who whipped it down the left sideline to forward Grant Gaon, who unleashed a three-point shot. Swish. The perfectly executed opening possession was an omen for how the game would progress.
“I have a lot of confidence in my ability as a shooter and when that first shot went in, it gave me even more confidence to keep it going,” Gaon said of his opening triple.
At the end of the first quarter, the Normans led by a commanding score of 26-3.
Artest III threw down two monster dunks over the course of the game, giving his teammates and fans a jolt of electricity.
“Those dunks get me so energized. I wanted to dunk even more,” Artest III said.
By halftime, the lead ballooned even more to 45-6.
When coach Jarvis Turner opened up his rotation as the lead became comfortable, every player was contributing on the floor in some way, shape or form, and the Cougars’ deficit only grew.
“We utterly dominated,” PA announcer Noah Lee said. “I saw some some impressive slam dunks. Good turnout with the crowd too. It was nice to see some school spirit and Norman dominance, and I look forward to seeing it all year.”
Athletic Director Kevin Brown was very impressed with the team, on both ends of the floor.
“I liked the overall team execution offensively and defensively. They played well as a group and you could tell that they were focused. They came out strong in their first game in league,” Brown said after the game as he was storing equipment away.
As the clocked ticked toward zero and the buzzer sounded, the fans cheered and the Normans headed to the locker room. There was joy everywhere.
- Excellent PSA by announcer Noah Lee during a breakage of play, acknowledging all the Norman alumni who were in attendance and welcoming them to the game. Nice touch
- Even with his squad blowing out the other team, coach Turner still cringed and shook his head at unforced errors by his players. Shows that a great coach realizes the tables can turn any game and he won’t let his team become lazy
- Cheer was once again charming. They always have a smile on their faces and their halftime stunts are impressive
- Forward Xander Bienstock, no matter the score, will always throw his body out there for his team. Plays so hard and battles players of all sizes
- Guard Jason Mehraban screaming defensive assignments from the bench shows an aware, passionate and intelligent teammate