After capping off their season with a 9-1 record and championship title in the Pacific Coast League (PCL), Northwood’s Boys Varsity Basketball team made it to the quarter finals in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF).
The team started CIF with a bang, beating San Clemente on Feb. 14 at a home playoff game by a score of 72-55.
“After winning the first CIF game I was feeling pretty confident in my team because I knew we had a special group of guys this year, and dominating the first game showed that we had a chance to go far in CIF,” senior Damian Pintor said.
They continued their victory streak with a last second win, 70-68, against Canyon High School at the Comanches’ home court on Feb. 16. Captain senior Jacob Huynh scored the three point buzzer beater, sending cheering fans running onto the court and winning CIF round two for the Timberwolves.
Unfortunately, the Timberwolves’ action-packed journey came to an end on Feb. 20 when the team lost against Brentwood School in Los Angeles by a score of 65-42.
“The opponents were solid. In my opinion, they didn’t beat us, we beat ourselves. It was probably one of the worst games we have played as a team,” junior Seth Locke said.
The team had left the game disappointed and frustrated as they had put in so much work this season.
“We had all our fans and support, and we didn’t show up to play that night. It’s not a game we want to remember,” Locke said.
CIF was a stressful part of the season for many players because every single game would determine if the team would be eliminated or continue in the playoffs.
“Before each CIF game I was definitely feeling a bit nervous, but I also went into each game with a positive mindset because I was confident in our game plan and our preparation in practice prior to the games,” Pintor said.
Although individual players had their own routines before each game, the boys had a strict team ritual prior to gamedays. Before every game the team would make sure to rest the night before, eat a good meal together at Subway or Flame Broiler and listen to music in the locker room moments before they took the court.
“Leading the team in CIF was a big challenge,” Huynh said. “We had a great regular season, winning two major tournaments and league. However, our CIF division was stacked with really good teams. We also faced some injuries along the season with me hurting my groin about a month ago and Moose getting a concussion at the Beckman game, but we both fought hard to get back on the court.”
In addition to leading the team in CIF, Huynh broke the 15-year record at Northwood for top scorer in boys basketball. Throughout the season, Huynh scored a total of 553 points and will be remembered as a legendary basketball player.
“It feels amazing to set the record as top scorer here at Northwood because I transferred from Woodbridge before my freshman year and I had no thought of ever being the top scorer, and to do it in my senior year was a great feeling,” Huynh said.
The Boys Varsity Basketball team had a successful season through lots of hard work, team bonding, and victories. The team said this season was “one for the books!”
“The best part about being in CIF was having the opportunity to continue the great season we were having so far and competing to possibly win a CIF championship,” Pintor said.
Support for the team was so overwhelming this season that in recent weeks, fans have not only been packing “our” gym but then have also been packing “their” gym as well by attending away games.
“CIF games are always a great time to highlight our amazing athletes and fantastic school spirit,” ASB President senior Claire O’Connor said. “Regardless of the score, the den is always there to support and it was incredible to see the amount of fans that drove out to the away games. I will never forget the crowd’s reaction to the win against Canyon as the Northwood pride was at an all time high.”