Boys’ Basketball Season Ends In A Hard Fought Game Against The Jaguars

Celeste Umaña, Opinion Editor

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Updated on March 14, 2023 at 3:33 p.m.

The boys’ basketball team’s season came to an end Tuesday, February 28 when they lost 72-65 to the Jordan Jaguars of Long Beach. The game was the first round of the 2023 CIF State Playoffs for Division IV. 

The Gondoliers started off already facing a disadvantage, having lost the opportunity to have home court advantage due to the loss at the city championship game the Saturday before. 

“Their gym was very dim, so I think that affected us a lot, and the atmosphere they had was a lot different and we weren’t used to it, especially being from so far away, ” said small forward Oliver Welch, who is also a captain. 

The Gondoliers had a strong start that hinted at the possibility of an evenly matched game. However, the team faced their second disadvantage just a few minutes into the first quarter when their starting point guard, junior Ryder Decena, was injured. The injury removed him for the entirety of the game and the rest of the first half never quite went in the Gondoliers’ favor. 

Celeste Umaña

It was evident that the team’s mindset during half time shifted and that was reflected in the fact that, in the third quarter, Venice outscored Jordan 19-16. 

“We started off not really coordinated together as a team, didn’t execute the game plan that we had coming in, played way too fast, but in the second half, we really got it together and started climbing back,” said Welch. “Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to see it through.” 

The Gondoliers kept their momentum from the third quarter going into the fourth quarter, keeping the scores close. But the referees were not on the Gondolier’s side and were more of a hindrance than help. 

Welch said that being continuously targeted by the referees and having “three of our players fouled out” was frustrating. The atmosphere in the stands being so heated was only elevated by the calls from the referees. Lots of taunting and heckling was an issue that was loosely controlled. 

The game seemed, at one point, within reach for the Gondoliers, but ultimately when the clock showed all zeros, the Jordan Jaguars were undoubtedly the winners. 

“I would’ve played a little more conservative- I think I could’ve been useful later down in the stretch of the game, but besides that, it was a hard fought game for both teams,” said Welch. 

It was an incredibly admirable feat to once again make it to the state playoffs, and Venice is proud of their season.