Loyal Timberwolves dressed in all black crowded the gym in support of the Northwood Boys and Girls basketball teams as they competed against the University Trojans on Jan. 17 for the annual Pack the Gym basketball game with the dress up theme “Black Out.” The boys successfully beat University 67-58 in overtime and the girls lost 39-66.
The boys game began at 7 p.m and in spirit of silent night, the crowd waited quietly until exploding with cheers at Northwood’s 10th point.
“The crowd’s excitement created a prideful atmosphere that set the tone for the rest of the night,” pep rally commissioner senior Jyo Jain said. “The united fans encouraged me to start chants and raise the Timberwolf spirit.”
Although the Timberwolves were trailing until the fourth quarter, the boys kept fighting to close the deficit.
“In the huddle after halftime, our captains told us to just believe in one another and believe that we can make a comeback,” senior Ankit Rastogi said.
As the end of the game approached, Northwood was down 50-53 with six seconds left on the clock when junior Shandon Sharifi inbounded the ball to Locke. Sprinting down the court to beat the buzzer, Locke made a 3-pointer to tie the game. His quick decisions transformed the outcome of the game as the boys rallied to win in overtime with a final score of 67-58.
“One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man alone cannot make a team,” Locke said. “My teammates kept telling me to shoot and got my confidence high which is why I was prepared for that shot.”
Prior to the boys game, Pack the Gym night kicked off with the girls game at 5:30 p.m. as students began entering the gym to cheer on both teams.
“We’ve implemented a new style of play this year that showed in this game,” varsity captain senior Chloe Tak said. “I think we’ve worked really hard to adjust and create more shooting opportunities as well as build our team chemistry on and off the court.”
The Timberwolves will continue to maintain their hard work and incorporate team strategies as they make their way to California Interscholastic Federation (CIF).
“Mental strength is what got us through the game because we could’ve given up and taken the loss, but we didn’t,” Locke said. “Our team will always continue to fight until the end.”