The Foothill boys’ basketball team has been treading in uncharted waters ever since they entered the CIF playoffs just under a month ago, and competing in the state competition on Wednesday was no different. The team traveled to California City High School to take on the Ravens in the first round of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Division V State Championships.
Though the Dragons are officially in Division VI of CIF, they took on the challenge of competing in a higher division and emerged with a 79-66 win over the Ravens in a back-and-forth contest.
The Dragons came out with intensity, scoring the first seven points of the game, but allowed the Ravens to make a 13-0 run shortly after. Coach Dean Prophet thinks the Ravens’ speed may have caught his team off guard, but once they settled down, they played better.
“After we got use to the pace and the quickness of California City,” he said, “we did a decent job the majority of possessions.”
The Dragons did manage to close the gap by the end of the quarter, only trailing 12-13.
They kept fighting in the second quarter and brought more momentum their way, holding the Ravens to a mere two points.
“They did a great job keeping their competitive spirit high despite allowing some pretty significant scoring runs,” said Prophet. “They fought back and created our own runs to create some space in the scoring margin.”
By the end of the half, that margin had increased to nine points, the Dragons leading 37-28.
Despite getting into some foul trouble in the first half, Dragons continued to increase their lead in the third quarter. In fact, the foul situation may have helped the team to better together and put forth the “total team effort” Prophet saw in the game.
Part of the reason for the Dragon’s success was that “everyone contributed good minutes,” according to Prophet.
The Dragons continued their cohesive, high intensity play throughout the fourth quarter to seal the deal.
With the win, they will advance to play the number one seed and “biggest challenge of the season,” Rolling Hills Prep, in the second round.
Prophet is excited for the challenge and thinks “it is a great opportunity for our team to explore this type of contest.”
More than anything, he and his team are happy to be in this position, acknowledging that “we are one of 96 teams still playing basketball in the state of California. Ninety-six of over 1,500 schools.” No matter what happens in the next round, he is “very proud of the accomplishments and hard work this team has achieved this season.”