Junior varsity boys basketball team crushes University Preparatory 63-22


Alison Yang

Caden Ruan (9) dribbles the ball while on the offensive against University Prep. The Eagles defeated University Prep 63-22 on Tuesday.

by Alison Yang, Jessica Wang, and Andrew Liang

The junior varsity boys basketball team defeated University Preparatory Academy 63-22 on Tuesday. 

Guard Robinson Xiang (9) won the tipoff, setting Gary Jin (10) up for a three-pointer to open the game. The Eagles burst into an early 10-3 lead following a flurry of free throws, layups and putbacks by Robinson, Rohit Yalla (10) and Caden Ruan (9) respectively. Despite University Prep’s attempts to change the momentum with timeouts, the Eagles ended the first quarter 15-5 after Robinson hit a contested three with eight seconds left on the clock. 

“We started off strong and we ended strong,” Robinson said. “[Coming] out with good energy and tempo really set the pace for the rest of the game. We all worked hard on the offensive and defensive side [of] this game.”

Starting the second quarter, the Eagles continued with a barrage of layups and three-pointers. Robinson hit back-to-back threes, pulling the eagles up to a 23-5 lead. Rishaan Thoppay (9) and Caden both wove through defenders on fast breaks, helping put the Eagles up to a 32-9 lead midway through the period. University Prep hit a two-pointer but was left at an 11-32 deficit going into the third quarter. 

The Eagles kept the scoring up even after several University Prep timeouts, taking possession for longer stretches. They ended the third period 50-20 and put up 13 more points while only allowing two University Prep points to end the game. New junior varsity head coach Nicholas Nguyen credited the team’s success to their defense, especially in the second half.

“Everything starts on the defensive end for us,” Coach Nguyen said. “We start with playing man defense and focusing on just being there to help [each other] out on defense. [A key moment was] the start of the third quarter where we pulled away and played lockdown defense.”

Practices, which began around a month ago, have been focused on developing fundamentals as well as building team chemistry. 

“[Every practice] we work on the same plays,” Gary said. “We also practice against defense to practice reading [the defense]. Every single day we have to work hard at practice, and that translates into gameplay.”

Going into the rest of the season, the Eagles look to improve both their record and their control over the game’s pace. They play against Design Tech this Friday at home.