On Friday, Foothill boys’ basketball, ranked third in their division, traveled to Orange County to try to upset the number two seed, Pacifica Christian, in the semifinals of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Division VI playoffs. The game marked a historic accomplishment for the program, as no Foothill boys’ basketball team had ever made it so far into the playoffs. The Dragons “played well most of the game,” but ultimately fell to the Tritons with a final score of 64-59.
It was a close game the whole way through, each team fighting to maintain a lead. Both teams entered the fourth quarter with 49 points on the board, but it was the Tritons who edged their way up for the win.
Head Coach Dean Prophet felt the Dragons “battled and fought until the end” of the game, but “just did not get some bounces when we needed them.” Prophet thinks this could be because “we did not get the usual open looks offensively and I felt we rushed our shots when we had open looks.”
Despite the loss, Prophet is proud of the way his team played this season. “I think we had a great season,” he said, “quite a turnaround from our first two years.”
He thinks this season was different “not only in regards to wins and losses,” but also in the way “the players held themselves accountable and were more focused,” and in the team’s improvements in many areas.
“The leadership improved as did their work ethic and commitment to each other,” he said.
With these improvements driving the season, the Dragons finished with a record of 23-5.
Prophet looks forward to next season and the opportunities it holds, especially now that they’ve seen what the team can do.
“Next season we plan to build on what this senior class and team has started,” he said. “We have a very good returning group and with this experience of competing in the CIF playoffs, and the results of last night, I know this will give them the direction they need to see what they need to do in order to make it to the finals.”
He is confident in the fact that “the returning players know what it takes to get as far as we did and what is needed to finish at an even higher level.”
Prophet believes this knowledge will help them next season because “each season is different but what it takes to reach a high level of success does not change.”