The varsity boys basketball team fell 42-60 to the King’s Academy Knights on Thursday night in a league matchup at home, bringing their overall record to 7-9 and their league record to 2-4.
After being tied 5-5 early in the game, the Knights went on an uninterrupted 13-point run to bring the score to 5-18 late in the first quarter.
The Eagles then responded with a 10-0 run beginning with a layup from Jeffrey Liu (11) followed by a key three-pointer from Jack Connors (11). The Eagles kept the momentum heading into the second quarter, with Jack scoring in the paint and Gene Wang (12) hitting a three to bring the score to 15-18 midway through the second half.
“I think I found my rhythm with my shot and it was good to see a couple of those go in, but I still [need to] create more and be more efficient,” Gene said.
Both teams traded baskets through the rest of the first half, with Harker gaining their first lead of the game with 45 seconds left in the quarter off another three from Gene, lifting the score to 26-25. The Eagles headed to the locker room at the half down by 2 points, 26-28.
Harker gave up back-to-back turnovers to begin the third that translated into easy fastbreak points for the Knights, setting the tone for the rest of the quarter. King’s held Harker to just four points in the third, and the Eagles faced a 12-point deficit at 30-42 heading into the last period.
The Eagles were unable to recover the lead and eventually came up short, with the scoreboard reading 42-60 when the final buzzer sounded.
“When we came out of the half, we made a couple mental errors, and they really capitalized on that and built their lead on that, and we were never really able to cut it back down,” Gene said.
Despite the loss, a bright spot for the Eagles was their overall team defense in the game.
“As soon as one person got beat, the next person was next in line to help them out,” guard Arjun Virmani (10) said. “We had good energy throughout the whole game, we just have to focus more on scoring the ball and offense and spacing out and taking advantage of opportunities.”
In a game marked by a surplus of fouls, Giovanni Rofa (11) came up big for the Eagles, sinking 9 out of his 10 free throws, scoring 11 points in total and playing good defense.
“To me, [Giovanni] played outstanding, he was on the offensive rebounds, making all the hustle plays, diving on the ground, physically defending probably their best player. He was doing a good job,” assistant varsity coach Eric Lee said.
Lee also emphasized the overall need to clean up the Eagles’ offense, a sentiment echoed by other players as well.
“We just [need to] work on being smart on offense, because turnovers are deadly, especially because other teams are fast, they’re strong, and they’re going to make almost all their shots, so we just [have to] limit the turnovers and if we keep working hard on defense, I think we’ll pull out some wins for sure,” Arjun said.
The Eagles travel to Pinewood next Tuesday, with their matchup against the 9-6 Panthers scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.