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Boys’ basketball outplays Villanova on Senior Night

Celebrating+the+teams+seniors%2C+the+Foothill+Technology+High+School+%28Foothill+Tech%29+boys%E2%80%99+basketball+team+faced+off+against+Villanova+Preparatory+School+%28Villanova%29+on+Feb.+2%2C+2024.+The+night+started+with+a+recognition+of+the+two+seniors+on+the+team%2C+John+Cassidy+%E2%80%9824+%28number+14%29+and+Daniel+Ferrer+%E2%80%9824+%28number+2%29%2C+then+proceeded+to+the+game.+The+Dragons+took+the+win+at+the+end+of+the+night+with+a+final+score+of+48-26.
Taylor schmidt
Celebrating the team’s seniors, the Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) boys’ basketball team faced off against Villanova Preparatory School (Villanova) on Feb. 2, 2024. The night started with a recognition of the two seniors on the team, John Cassidy ‘24 (number 14) and Daniel Ferrer ‘24 (number 2), then proceeded to the game. The Dragons took the win at the end of the night with a final score of 48-26.

The audience erupted with applause as the Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) boys’ basketball team celebrated their seniors John Cassidy ‘24 and Daniel Ferrer ‘24 in an enthusiastic game against Villanova Preparatory School (Villanova). The seniors were showered with flowers and heartfelt speeches from coach Jamal Brown as family and friends listened endearingly from the crowd. The celebration soon ended, and the team got ready to play their hearts out on the court for their two departing seniors, the game ended in a successful score of 48-26.

Though Villanova won the tip-off, Foothill Tech’s Ashton Brown ‘26 was the first to score, as he drilled a mid-range jumper to start off the game. Quickly after, Luigrey Guce ’25 shook his defender and scored a three pointer to bring the score to 5-0.

Ashton Brown ‘26 (number 11) uses his defensive skills to block a Villanova player. While locking eyes with the ball handler, Brown deliberates his next move to help guide his team to victory on their special night. Throughout the night Brown and his teammates took the lead through steals, assists, free-throws and passes that helped the Dragons secure the win. (Taylor Schmidt)

After some player substitutions, Broden Baker ‘26 made a floater off of a strategic pass from Jordan Banola-Castillo ‘25. Banola-Castillo then subsequently drew a foul and made a successful free throw. Philip Blessum ‘25 continued with a lay-up to further increase the Dragons’ lead.

As Foothill Tech racked up points, Villanova struggled to find a rhythm. The only points they earned throughout the entire quarter were from a lay-up in the last seconds before the buzzer.

With the start of the second quarter, Foothill Tech was determined to keep their lead. Brown pulled up on the side of the arc to make a three pointer. Villanova responded as they moved the ball into the paint to score a lay-up.

While attempting a lay-up, Elijah Spencer ‘26 drew a foul to make a free throw. After, Villanova once again made a lay-up. Spencer then received a pass to score a lay-up of his own to bring the score to 16-6.

After Blessum blocked one of Villanova’s lay-ups, Brown scored another three pointer after maneuvering to an open shot. Villanova was then fouled two times in a row in which four free throws were made to bring the score to 19-10 for the end of the second quarter.

After half-time, Guce drew a foul from behind the arc which granted him three free throws, all of which he made. Villanova then was able to find a way into the paint to score a lay-up. Senior Ferrer responded with a mid-range jumper which brought the score to 24-12.

Villanova then went on a brief scoring streak where they made a three-pointer, lay-up and two successful free throws. Blessum halted this streak with a lay-up, but Villanova scored shortly afterwards.

Surrounded by the opposing team, as well as Villanova’s coaches to the side of him, one of the team’s point guards, Luigirey Guce ‘25 (number 1), manages to break away and take the shot, scoring a few extra points to finalize the Dragons’ win. (Taylor Schmidt)

These points in quick succession aroused the possibility of a comeback, but the Dragons were quick to smother the flame igniting within Villanova. Foothill Tech went on a streak of their own as Brown knocked down a three-pointer and free throw shortly after.

Foothill Tech built off this as in the last minute of the quarter they scored eight consecutive points; five from Brown and three from Guce.

The fourth quarter started with two consecutive lay-ups from Spencer. Villanova then responded with a three-pointer. But with a lay-up from Blessum and a three from Sahith Mareddy ‘26, Villanova’s attempts to build back to a competitive position were futile. The game ended with a lay-up from Villanova which brought the final score to 48-26.

Head Coach Jamaal Brown spoke on the game and the season, “I couldn’t be more proud of this group … a 22 point win … these guys clinched a three-way tie for first place in league.”

Ecstatic with the occasion of the win on senior night, a member of the graduating class, Ferrer, reflected on his time in the program, “It was filled with ups and downs … I was in crutches for a while … but I am really thankful for the opportunity I got and to spend my last few games with my boys.”

The Foothill Tech boys’ basketball team ended their regular season with a 14-13 record. Foothill Tech now looks towards CIF to see how far they can successfully play.

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About the Contributors
Conor White, Reporter
Aka Sonia. A first-year sports writer who is a runner by choice and loves eating and sleeping.
Taylor Schmidt, Photographer
I'm a first-year photographer who enjoys spending time with my family, friends and sleeping in.

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