First home game of the season against one of their rival teams, Alhambra High School, San Gabriel High School (SGHS) captured everyone’s attention with a very close score.
In preparation for the game, the Matadors used knowledge from past games and analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing team, as well as themselves, to come up with a game plan that resulted in a victory.
“I thought it was definitely a 50/50 [chance of winning] because we played them last time and even though we lost, it was due to our mistakes,” co-captain senior Miguel Quintana said. “So I knew that we had a chance if we fixed those mistakes. We could beat them, but if we lost again, it would’ve been on us.”
It was a competitive game throughout all four quarters. The Matadors started the game winning the tip-off and ended the first quarter with co-captain shooting guard senior Andrew Canizal’s three pointer with two points down at 15-13. San Gabriel gained momentum and took the game back in the second quarter with a score of 21-17 at the end of the first half.
The crowd and performers were roaring with encouragement, having confidence for their home teams, while Marching Band filled the arena with upbeat tunes. Uproarious atmosphere heightened the game in the second half.
The third quarter came with more action and a magnitude of energy from both crowds. Both teams moved back and forth on the court with an increasing number of fouls and contested shots from both teams. Point guard junior Jason Hong assisted Canizal for a three pointer at the buzzer, finishing the third quarter tied with a score of 38-38.
The audience grew with immense focus on the game, as either team could take home the win. The Matadors were down the first half of the fourth quarter. As it came to an end, the Moors began fouling, which gave San Gabriel a chance for a comeback. With a tied score of 46-46 and point guard junior Zetao Xie at the free throw line, the crowd sat in nail-biting silence, waiting for the tie-breaking shot.
With Xie’s two free throws, the Matadors were up two points with 36 seconds left in the game. Another foul sent him to the line again with 1.8 seconds on the clock, sealing the game and putting the Matadors in the lead with a final score of 49-46. The Matador Arena erupted with music while spirited fans leaped from their seats in excitement when the buzzer rang, indicating the end of the game.
The players were proud of the work they put out on the court, and the victory against the Moors put the varsity boys at 2-0. Their hope for the team is that despite their win, they strive for improvement and maintain their composure and ambition for the rest of the season. The next home game will be against the Montebello Oilers on Jan. 26.