Boys’ Basketball Goes Head To Head With The Jordan Jaguars At Playoffs

Celeste Umaña, Opinion Editor

Boys’ basketball will travel to Long Beach to play against the Jordan Jaguars in the first round of CIF state playoffs today at 7 p.m. This game comes after the loss against the Grant Lancers in a 63-53 game. 

The Gondoliers will have to win as the 13th seed in Division 4 if they want to remain hopeful for a repeat appearance in Sacramento for state. 

“They’re a fast, athletic team so it’s going to be a very quick game up and down. It’s win or go home now,” says coach Dave Galley.     

Senior Adam Wiener, a captain who plays forward, believes there are ways that they can come out victorious tonight. 

“We just have to play our way,” Wiener said. “Our best bet is if we shoot well, which we’ve struggled all season with, but I think today might be different because if we could switch it on today it will help us win this game.” 

Even with such a short gap between these two games, senior center Alexander Arias Jr. shares that Venice has a plan. “We have to control the pace,” he said.

“They’re going to try to speed us up so we have to slow it down, just play our game, and be a team at all times,” says Arias Jr. 

This past weekend the Gondoliers struggled to keep a lead on the Grant Lancers, and were unable to work together to pull out a win. 

“We just didn’t shoot the ball very well,” said Galley. “When you’re in a championship game, you have to shoot the ball well to be able to get a victory, and if we had shot the ball how we normally shoot, it would have been a whole different ball game.” 

“But sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce your way,” he adds.

The Gondoliers went in with great intensity, but towards the end of the first quarter the momentum shifted to Grant. 

“We really didn’t play the game plan very well. We didn’t execute. We weren’t making shots. It just wasn’t a good game for us,” says Arias Jr. 

The game was relatively back and forward until the fourth quarter where they ran out of time to make a comeback. 

“We just had a bad fourth quarter and I’ll take [part] responsibility,” says junior point guard Kenyon Alexander. 

“We weren’t running plays like we should have and that’s my fault, and we weren’t mentally locked in like we should have been and Grant deserved that game,” he said.              

Although the loss was a bitter one, the team is using it as motivation going into today’s game. For the seniors, tonight means a lot, as it’s a way to keep their senior season alive. For the whole team, it’s another chance at a game in Sacramento. 

“A win would prove a lot of people wrong. When we made it to the halfway point of the season, a lot of people called this season a disappointment because of all the star power we had and what our record was, and still what our record is now. But getting to city championships and proving that we weren’t a bust in state; At least winning a couple games, getting to semis, or even back to Sacramento will just be a win in my eyes,” says Alexander. He had only one more thing to say after: “ V’s up”.