Defne Onal staff writer
The boys varsity basketball team lost their first round of Division I Southern Section CIF playoffs against the Windward Wildcats tonight by a score of 62 to 79. As a result of the loss, the Normans’ record fell to (12-5), and Windward’s record improved to (12-6).
The Normans began the first quarter enthusiastically after senior power guard Aaron Liberty stole the ball on Windward’s possession and connected on a contested fast-break layup. The Wildcats proceeded to go on a 9-1 run, using their physicality and dynamism to overwhelm the Normans’ defense. The Normans turned the ball over several times to the Wildcats several times in the first quarter. After a 3-0 run of their own, the Normans went into the second quarter down by five.
The Wildcats started off the second quarter strong. After the Wildcats went on a 10-0 run to begin the period, they continued to score four more points. After the Normans upped their game at 20, the Wildcats went on a 19-9 run of their own in the second half of the quarter. The Wildcats dominated the Normans in every facet of the game, most notably in defense. Beverly Hills’ man-to-man defense lacked in vigor, as the Wildcats were able to score every hoop by will alone. After the Wildcats forced several turnovers, they could capitalize on fast-break opportunities, pushing the lead further from the Normans’ reach. The half ended with Windward up 41-29. Junior Jac Mani scored 15 points of the half, along with Liberty’s five and Blake Lander’s four points.
Beverly was able to up their game in the first few minutes of the third quarter, going on a 2-0 run to begin the quarter. The Normans made several note-worthy shots, most notably Aaron Ghermezi’s long-distance basketball shot from across court in the finishing minute of the third quarter, entering the fourth quarter down 63-44.
The Normans started off the fourth quarter two points uncontested. Landers and Mani added to this effort, each scoring a respective point themselves. The Normans went on an 8-7 run. Regrettably, this wasn’t enough for the Normans, as the team went on to lose in blowout fashion.