Varsity boys going to CCS semifinals for first time in school history

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Sheridan Tobin

Will Deng (10) takes a shot during the second round CCS game versus RLS.

by Samantha Hoffman

Students and faculty filled the Menlo School gym as they cheered on the Eagles to a nail-biting 62-59 victory over #2 seed Soquel High School in the quarterfinals of the CCS playoffs. Their victory earned them a place in the semifinals.

The Eagles struggled for the lead in the first half, falling short 25-38 by the end of the second quarter. Finally hitting their stride during the third quarter, they narrowed the lead to 46-47 through strong offense and defensive strategy and multiple fouls from the Soquel team.

That trend would continue into the fourth quarter as the Eagles overtook Soquel and brought the score to 61-57 with one minute left in the game. Another shooting foul brought freshman Nicholas Nguyen to the free throw line, who increased the score to 62-59. With just over 20
seconds left in the quarter, Soquel failed to complete two three-point shot attempts and turned the ball over to the Eagles, ending the game.

On February 23, the Varsity boys’ basketball team defeated Stevenson School 61-43 to move on to face Soquel.

Both teams began the game with strong performances in the first quarter, which ended 13-15 Stevenson. However, that would be the last time the Eagles found themselves behind; from the second quarter onward, they pulled ahead and maintained the lead for the rest of the game.

First half highlights include multiple three-point shots from junior Spenser Quash, who would be the leading scorer of the night with 16 points. The Eagles led 34-23 by the end of the half.

During the second half, the Eagles held on to and increased their lead with minimal fouling, scoring 54 points to Stevenson’s 35 by the end of the third quarter. As the point difference continued to increase in the final quarter, every player on the Eagles got a chance to play and was sent in to the roaring approval of the fans in the crowd.

“The bench did a great job, and it was great to see everybody play,” Coach Butch Keller said.

The players were excited about moving on to the quarterfinals and look forward to the semifinals.

“We set up a good match-up for ourselves against Soquel,” Saagar Sarin (12) said. “We think the bracket’s favorable to us.”

Be sure to watch the boys play in the semifinals at Menlo School on Tuesday, February 28, at 7:15 p.m.