Boys’ basketball barely suffers loss against Santa Ynez in aggressive match


Ella Nicolle

Chase Nielsen ‘22 avoids the intense defense of the opposing team and leaps into the air to try and make a layup.

Claire Hernandez, Assignment Editor

The Foothill Technology (Foothill Tech) boys’ basketball team warmed up to play the Santa Ynez High School Pirates for their final preseason game before league on Jan. 3. The boys, back from the holidays, were attempting their preparation for a hard fight against the Pirates. 

The whistle blew, the tip off going to Santa Ynez. An early couple of fouls by Chase Nielson ‘22 led to the Pirate’s first three points. With the aggressive undertone of the game set, Sam Noah ‘23 sunk a shot in to keep the Dragons in the game at a score of 3-2, Pirates. 

Santa Ynez stretched their lead to 8-2, Foothill Tech then calling a timeout to regroup.

Trying to score, Alex Sanchez ‘22 attempts to drive past his defender and shoot. (Ella Nicolle)

Coach Jamaal Brown commented about this, saying, “it started off very slow and I thought we were very rusty and we looked like we were a step slow.”

The timeout having somewhat of a success, Alex Sanchez ‘22 made a pass to Aden Robles ‘22 who made a clear shot for a three pointer. The Pirates were still moving forward with their lead, the Dragons struggling to keep up. The score at 14-5, Foothill Tech strung together passes that led to a three-point shot from Robles. 

With just about a minute left, Robles sets himself up for another three pointer. He commented that “[he] played pretty well offensively,” which was proved with the succession of shots that he managed to sink. 

This helped the Dragons in the first half close the point gap with the Pirates, ending the quarter 14-13, Santa Ynez still in the lead.

The second quarter began, the Dragons shot down with an immediate two points added to the Pirate’s score. A back and forth sequence ensued, the Pirates continuing to dominate. 

The score now 24-17 with 1:50 left in the half, Noah juked a Pirate to score two more for the Dragons. Santa Ynez was not fazed, scoring two more to end the half 26-19.



The half began with an early foul yet again, both teams battling. The Dragons were determined to take the lead, with Robles juking a Pirate and setting up Nielson to get two in. Shortly after, some aggressive play ensued, with Santa Ynez getting a technical. Robles sets up for his free shots, making one. 

The score now 26-30, the Dragons started their momentum. With shots coming from both sides, Robles tied the game with seconds remaining, ending the third quarter 33-33. 

Coach Brown commented about the shift in energy, saying, “our offense picked up a little bit and we got a couple of easy baskets. Aden hit a couple of three-pointers that kind of brought us back and gave us energy.” 

This was shown tremendously in the final quarter of the game. The Dragons fought their battle with the Pirates, the score staying within a few point difference. With one minute left in the game, the fouls were almost constant. Four timeouts were called before the final whistle blew, Santa Ynez plotting to keep their lead and Foothill Tech scheming a play that could allow them to win. 



The Dragons were unable to over power the Pirates, losing the game by just three points, a final score of 39-36. 

Coach Brown was still happy with how the Dragons played, saying, “when you’re not just focused on wins and losses, I’m happy with the way we’re competing overall. We got a lot of seniors on the team and heading into league, I feel really good about where we are, and we’re going to go out with a short memory about tonight’s loss.”

The Dragons will compete against Malibu High School on Jan. 8 at their home court of Ventura College, hoping to carry this momentum to secure a win.

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