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The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

Boys basketball dominates Costa Mesa in home opener

TAKE+IT+TO+THE+PAINT%3A+Sophomore+Sam+Alegre+breaks+past+the+Mustang%E2%80%99s+defense+and+reaches+up+for+the+layup.+
Andrew Le
TAKE IT TO THE PAINT: Sophomore Sam Alegre breaks past the Mustang’s defense and reaches up for the layup.

The atmosphere in Northwood’s gym was reminiscent of last year’s basketball season, full of anticipation as the Northwood boys basketball team made their 2023-24 season debut on Tuesday with a win over Costa Mesa High School 68-36.

The game opened with a slow start as the Mustangs won the first possession and marked the starting points on the scoreboard. Northwood had a few opportunities, but didn’t quite connect on the shots until midway through the quarter. 

After that point, the Timberwolves established themselves as the stronger team and continued to dominate throughout the entire game, maintaining the lead through the fourth quarter. 

While Northwood’s performance reflected a phenomenal team effort, the dominant score was led by combo guard sophomore Sam Alegre. Alegre’s presence on the court brought a huge momentum shift as he recorded 17 total points and created key plays with assists to seniors Matthew Boothroyd and Zaid Yunis. Alegre finished the game with three rebounds and three steals as well.  

“I tried to be aggressive whenever I got the ball, which not only led to me scoring but also looking out for my teammates to get that assist,” Alegre said. “No matter what situation I was put in, I kept my mind clear and had a next play mentality.”

Returning from an injury last season, shooting guard senior TJ Navarro also had a strong performance with four completed threes and 16 total points. He also connected with fast break assists from both Alegre and point guard senior Ryan Abaye.

Despite its lack of presence in the statbooks, Northwood’s defense also played a fundamental role in their success. Point guard senior Aidan Arnold recorded six steals and added to the growing momentum from defensive stops across the court.

“We take pride in limiting teams to less than 10 points a quarter,” Arnold said. “By only giving up 36 points, we did exactly what we are always aiming to do.”

As the first official game of the season, nerves are expected to impact individual efforts and team chemistry. The team also graduated a majority of starters from last year and are still working to rebuild their culture and bring up younger players. Regardless, the victory has set a good foundation and will carry into their tournament next week.

“I feel really confident because we won our home opener by a good amount and it always feels good to win on our home court,” Navarro said. “But there is definitely still a lot of work to be done if we want to reach our goals of winning league and making a solid run in CIF playoffs.”

The Timberwolves next home game is on Dec. 1 against Huntington Beach High School.

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About the Contributors
Jaycee Hendrickson, Sports Editor
Jaycee Hendrickson is a senior and sports editor for the Northwood Howler. While complaining about her lack of sleep, she is probably scrolling on her phone and wondering why she has no time left for schoolwork. Jaycee is never without a drink (send help, it's draining the bank account) and her articles will never be submitted before 11:59 pm on deadline day.
Andrew Le, Photographer
Andrew Le is a Northwood Junior and a photographer for The Howler. He spends his time trying to catch up on F1 (and watching everyone try to catch up to Max), listening to music, riding bikes, or sleeping.

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