Among the spirit-week-inspired winter pajamas, a few dress shirts and ties poked through as the boys’ basketball team started their week all business. Hosting the Besant Hill Coyotes in a nonleague game, the Dragons put another victory under their belt on Monday, Jan. 22. With their 68-38 victory, their focus shifts back to league play.
Thus far, the team has been undefeated in their four Frontier league games. They’ve conquered every team they have faced. The only one left is Fillmore, who they’ll face on the road on Wednesday, Jan. 24.
“Wednesday night is a big game for us [because] if we have five wins in league [at this point], I think we have a good shot of getting invited to CIF,” coach Dean Prophet said.
With the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) playoffs always in the back of their minds, the win over Besant Hill gained the Dragons experience and momentum, which they hope to carry in their pursuit of the playoffs.
Just as this game lights a spark for the rest of the season, Nate Bova ‘19 got the fire burning early in the game. His hot hand had 13 of the Dragons’ 21 points in the first quarter, coming from two layups and three three-point shots.
The rest came from Cameron Strain ‘18, Cisco Lomax ‘18 and Colin Vallance ‘18, Strain with back-to back layups, and Lomax and Vallance with a jumper each.
On the defensive side, they kept the Coyotes from scoring for six minutes, until 6-foot-8-inch forward Michael Anekwe ‘18 hit a jumper in the paint. He’d score again with forty seconds left, but his four were the only points on the board for Besant Hill in the first quarter.
Bova continued the trend in the second, hitting two threes in two minutes, but the Coyotes, mainly Anekwe and Yllan Havre ‘21 picked it up.
They shared Besant Hill’s 13 points, Anekwe with six and Havre with seven, but that wasn’t enough to outscore the Dragons.
Bodhi Mc Donald ‘20 and Ty Macias ‘20, along with Strain, all contributed two points each, and Bova scored another three with a minute forty left in the quarter, plus fast break layup thirty seconds later. Together, they gained the team a 39-17 lead at the half.
Bova finished with a whopping 24 points in the half, outscoring the entire Besant Hill team, a performance teammate Andrew Manley ‘18 deemed “spectacular.”
As for himself, Bova humbly commented, “I’m always thinking ‘just try and get the win for the team’ and when shots are going in, it’s going in and you’ve just got to keep shooting.”
After the half, Bova quieted down a bit, but his brother Sam Bova ‘19 picked up the slack. Coming in midway through the third quarter, he drained his first shot of the game: a three-pointer from the wing. Thirty seconds later, he hit another from the same spot.
Sam Bova’s six points went alongside three from Strain, two from Vallance, and two from Lomax.
For Besant Hill, Anekwe and Havre remained the stars of the show; together they accounted for nine of the team’s thirteen points in the third quarter.
When Manley came off the bench in the fourth quarter, he got the team going with a three-pointer.
Prophet called Manley a standout player of the game, saying he “always gives us a lot of good hustle” and “as long as you’re hustling, you’re probably going to do some good things.”
After Manley got the ball rolling, McDonald stepped in with a fadeaway jumper. He sunk an elbow jumper a minute later, with an assist by Sam Bova.
The next possession Sam Bova scored for himself. After missing a three, he got his own rebound and put in a layup. He went on to hit a three pointer, and score the last points of the game off of another offensive rebound.
Iak Wright ‘19 also scored off his own rebound in the fourth, and all together Wright, Manley, McDonald and Sam Bova brought home the 68-38 victory.
Nate and Sam Bova scored 37 combined points, just one shy of tying the Besant Hill team.
Moving forward, Prophet hopes the team can “keep our composure […] and play well.”